Wednesday, February 13, 2008

dealing with death. . . again

I apologize in advance for a depressing post. As you can tell by the title, we are dealing with death, again. Besides President Hinckley, and President Faust's wife (of the LDS Church 1st Presidency) there have been some local deaths.

Since I came home from visiting my mother, two elderly men in our town have died. Both from our Ward, both on the same day!
One, a neighbor was very ill with melanoma and he hung on to life like two cats, each with 9 lives. In the last two years, his sweet single daughter not only reduced her hours at work to take care of him, she gave up her job, social life, and church life in the end to take care of him. During those last years, she got him up, helped him do his "business", showered or sponge bathed him, helped him dress, tied his shoes, fed him, and helped him into his chair. She bought a new TV so he could see it. She took him to all his Dr. appointments. When he was feeling better, she drove him down south to his ancestral hometown and helped him put flowers on the graves of his parents and loved ones. If anyone will have many jewels in her crown in the next life, it will be my sweet friend, Lu Anne. Now her dad has finally died, the funeral is Friday, and then she has some decisions to make. Where will she work? She still has $600 a month house payments. She refinanced the home in order to pay for much needed roof and rewiring a few years ago. Will she sell that very sad little home for nothing (I am wondering if she can even command $40,000 for that postage-sized lot)move up north and pay more rent to get a job, since this town doesn't have much to offer?

The other sweet man who died was an amazing man. He always put you first, and acted like you were the most important and loved person on this earth. He always shook your hand and was always willing to talk. He was once a Bishop in this Ward, and everyone knew him as the handshaking Bishop. Good man. He and his wife served two missions in their latter years. His wife had died 14 months earlier and he really missed her. They were in love and treated each other with such kindness and love. He was ready. He had lived a good life, 88 years old. His sweet daughters spoke today at his funeral. One came all the way from Switzerland with her husband. Her 8 sons who couldn't come, were listed on the back as honorary pall bearers. She is bunking at my house and I feel honored to get the privilege of providing that service. I love her. She is a dear friend.

Both men had lived good lives. Both were widowers and ready to join their wives in the next life. It is hard to watch the daughters miss their dads so bad, but it is also a celebration for the deceased. They are joining their wives, and are no longer in pain. They lived long and good lives.

The other man, is MUCH too young to have a death sentence, but I found out on Monday that my chiropractor has pancreatic cancer. This, according to some research done on the internet, is a death sentence. I have heard as short as 3 months from diagnosis to death, to as long as 22 months. This cancer is terribly hard and the pain is terrible. It is a hard cancer to diagnose, and virtually has NO cure. Chemotherapy can be administered, but basically all it does is to shrink the tumor so the pain is not as bad.
This man is only 60. He has lived a good life, he has worked in the temple, he has served in the genealogy library, he is on the city counsel and is the Fire Chief for our volunteer Fire department. He is soft spoken, understanding and kind. During times when I was his patient, and was pouring my heart out about my woes, he always said "I understand." And I believe he really did.
He has 7 children, all but two are married. I was saddened to think of his poor little wife being left behind. She has worked hard and served faithfully where ever she has been asked. Those two daughters who are not married will not have their dad at their weddings. They are friends with my children, most of their children match up in ages with my children. This news is so depressing. I cannot imagine how it would be to know my dear Sailor was going to leave me for an indeterminate amount of time. I put myself in other's shoes and my heart is aching for dear Mary.
Now Sailor's mom called last night to tell him that a friend of hers drown (fell through the ice) while walking her dog. No one is quite sure what happened, the dog was not wet when he came home without her. She leaves behind a sweet husband, Al.
One more thing~a young man just had a longboard accident. Landed on his head (without a helmet). The Doctors put plates in his head, and some mesh where there was no bone left. He is in a coma and may not live. He is only 24. He and his little sister were really close. His little sister always was right in front of my S3 alphabetically at school and they both had the same name, except hers was the feminine version, so the announcer would have to change the pronunciation each time they read their names together and they would always stumble on their names.

So to those who are left behind, or who might or will be left behind I am so sorry. And to the reader, please say a little prayer for Lu Anne, Ann, Mary, Rodger, Al and Dallas, and all the others left behind. Go kiss your spouse and loved ones, call your dads and moms & children and tell them you love them, and count your blessings. Life is short.


RisibleGirl said...

Wow, your friend Lou Anne sounds like a very VERY special woman. She truly will be blessed for being such a good daughter to her dad.

I agree with you that it's really hard on the families to see their parent go- but also such a joyful time for that parent because they will be reunited with their long lost love.

I especially appreciated how the Osmond family drove that point home when their beloved father died. Such a beautiful thought.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most painful, from what I remember in my hospice work. Bone cancer trumps that though.

All of these families are in my prayers, as are you, dear friend.

Sailor said...

Ahhh.... Friend, life is so short and so unsure. I love you. Prayer is about all that we have to offer right now.


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