Don

There were no plans for a blog this week, just as there were no plans for my father to pass away yesterday.

On Sunday, my mom called with the terrible news that Dad was taken by ambulance to the hospital. While watching CBS Sunday Morning, dad went into the kitchen and called out to my mom for help, saying that he did not feel well. She recognized that things were serious, sat dad down and called 911. Upon admission, the preliminary position was that he had suffered a major heart attack and quickly underwent a plethora of tests. Later in the day, a heart attack was ruled out and significant fluid build up around the pericardium was observed. He was admitted to ICU and the fluid was drained. Things seemed less-dire at nighttime.

Early yesterday, I drove Lynn the hour to the Pensacola airport for her two week support visit to help her mom and dad. Just before we reached the airport, my mom texted positive news – “Dad had a good night. He hurts, so besides Vicodin, they gave him a bit of morphine. I called at 6:30 AM and spoke with him and he sounded good. I slept three hours with phone next to me and that was scary as I dreaded it to ring. I’ll go for a visit around noon”. So, with that positive news, I kissed Lynn and watched her walk into the Pensacola Airport. Twenty minutes later, I’m Westbound on I-10 near the Alabama border and my phone rings. “Jimmy, Dad just died.” Going 70 mph on the highway, there’s not much to do, so I listened to my mom explain that while a nurse was in his room, he had just been talking about his granddaughter Jessica and all of a sudden became unresponsive. A group of medical professionals tried to save him for twenty minutes but were unsuccessful. And, just like that, a wife is a widow, two kids lost their dad and two grandkids lost their Papee. I was incredibly conflicted as to whether to share this news with Lynn thirty minutes before she boarded the jet. Denise and Greg, thank you for being the ones to pick up the phone when I called and needed trusted judgement. I’ll never forget it.

Even as I type this, I have no idea if I should keep writing or stop writing. I’ve seen many social media posts about the death of a loved one and always feel twisted up, not knowing what to say…how much to say…Do they want privacy…or do they want to talk? Right now, Lynn’s dealing with new complications with her dad and somehow we have to co-ordinate trips to Boston and then she needs to figure out if she’s coming home or back to help her mom and dad. I’ve got a Jeep with a charging issue and the dealership can’t see me till Friday. God knows what I’ll find in the bottom of the freezer, but whatever it is…That’s what is for dinner. Dose Two of Lynn’s vaccine has to be rescheduled and I’m working on constructing two hours of suitable music for the gathering next Tuesday. I’ve got a few hundred photos of his life on a digital frame which will be present at the ceremony and Bella’s going to see what living in a kitty hotel is all about.

One of the things I have been working on recently with my therapist is trying to figure out why I’ve buried virtually all memories of the first part of my life. When she asked me to write down all the memories of my first 18 years, the very first thing that came out was playing catch in the backyard with a baseball. Each and every day that the weather permitted, throwing and catching with my dad was the highpoint of my day.

This pandemic has prevented me from seeing my parents for over a year. My dad was adamant that if he became infected with COVID, it was a death sentence. Both he and my mom were ecstatic to have recently received the vaccines. What an udder obscenity it turned out that as soon as he felt that he could begin to live again, ….. he could not. Given Dad’s recent twenty pound weight loss, they

OK, I decided. No more typing. As I write this sentence, Lynn and her mom are rushing back to the hospital as her dad is having complications. Substituting for the typical “Lynn’s Two Cents”, I’ll let her words to me a moment ago cover the dual family situations….

What A Fucking Mess.

Pictures of a life well-lived for 85 years below.

U.S. Army
Ocean City, NJ
Pennsylvania Delegate For George McGovern (Dad wised up in later years)
Riding his bike at Valley Forge National Park, one of his favorite places
Pretty sure this was Babcia’s 90th Birthday (Dad’s mom)
Mom and Dad’s first visit to Charleston
Arriving home from receiving the COVID vaccine just a few weeks ago. Awful, just awful irony.

24 Comments on “Don

  1. Oh, Jim and Lynn! We are so sorry! You have our condolences! If there is anything we can do to help either of you, please let us know.

    The photos you shared are a wonderful. God Bless you all. 🙏 ❤

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  2. Jim there are no words. I am in shock. I pray for you, Lynn and your families to give you strength to get through this difficult time.

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  3. I am so very sorry you both are going through such a heartbreaking time at the same time! My deepest condolences to you. My thoughts and love are with both you and Lynn and your families. If there is anything I can help with or do, please let me know. Big virtual hugs to you both.

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  4. I am so sorry to hear this. Will pray for you and your family.

    Sent from my iPhone

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    • You might find this hard to believe Kathy, but when he first was admitted to the hospital, one of my honest-to-God first thoughts was a flood of memories of how YOU so thoroughly facilitated my mom and dad’s return home on USAirways when he had a seizure in the middle of nowhere Arizona. Both my parents were astonished by the superlative treatment they received in PHX on route to BOS. Booking my funeral flights in the morning PNS-MHT and it’ll feel so odd stepping on an aircraft for the first time in almost two years. I will ALWAYS treasure the memory of how you made their flight home smooth and perfect. XO and thanks for your condolences. Both my parents knew that besides you being the self proclaimed “Get Out Of Jail” card, they knew how much I thought of and respected you.

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  5. I am so so sorry for your loss. Prayers for peace for you and your family. Prayers also for Lynn’s dad. HUGS from Texas.

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    • Thanks B. I’ll be sure to pass that on to Lynn. She was having such a good week and booked 5-6 cruises this week until the wheels fell off the train.

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  6. Jim, I’m so very sorry for your loss. It’s especially difficult to lose a dad you loved and looked up to all your life – speaking from recent experience. You and you entire family are in my prayers.

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    • Thanks Bob. Your loss is fresh in my mind and as a new father-less human, I did think about you today and am hoping that you’re pushing through.

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      • I’m pushing through for the most part, Jim, but going to the house in Jersey brings back lots of good memories and more sadness. It’s a process. Hang in there, my friend.

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  7. Laura and I send you both our deepest sympathy. We hold you all in Our prayers.

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  8. I am sitting here crying in disbelief. I am so very very sorry to read this Jim. Know that I will be praying for you all. The pictures are awesome and so precious. What wonderful memories. Wish we could do something to help. Praying for Uncle Jack too… Lynn nailed it… what a mess! Sending lots of love and prayers to you all.

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  9. Jim we are so sorry for your loss. Know we are thinking of you guys.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  10. So many wonderful memories in those photos. Hold them tight my friend. He will forever live in your heart. Our sincere condolences

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  11. Your Dad was a great man!!!! Cherish your memories and grieve your loss. Hugs from Florida. 🥲🤗

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