Monday, June 22, 2009

The Circle of Life

Death is a Once in a Lifetime experience

The old Man: The old man (I use this term as one of respect in lieu of his name and to protect the privacy of those in today’s post) was approaching his nineties. He’d had a full life but the ravages of Parkinson’s disease had taken their toll. He was taken to the hospital for a routine problem but after an episode in the Emergency Room, still unexplained, had lapsed into a coma from which he would not awaken. The old man left this earth April 11, 2002 six months to the day after the Twin Towers were bombed. His date of passing was also of note as he died on his great grandson’s eighteenth birthday.

The Great Grandson: The great grandson, Theron, had his own struggles as well. His mother lost her life at age 35, suddenly and unexpectedly of the effects of a massive heart attack, the underlying causes of which are also still unexplained. She had been stricken as she sat behind the wheel of her car in a parking lot while chatting with a friend. She too remained comatose until her life ended weeks after the heart attack and two years after the death of her grandfather.

The old man’s brother: The old man had several brothers, one of whom also had a great grandson. His great grandson, Brian, was stricken at age 33 with Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis, otherwise known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The young man’s fight with ALS has been chronicled in the journal kept by the great grandson in his wife, as well as highlighted in this blog. Last Friday Brian lost his fight with ALS. He passed away quietly after a long fight with the disease. He never lost his sense of humor or his brilliant mind. He packed more into 35 years that do most people who live more than twice that long.

The Great Grandson Theron and the Circle of life: Theron lost his Mom not long after he graduated high school. He had three younger siblings to look after and he got on with his life. He joined the National Guard, married, attended college, worked two jobs and did all the responsible things firstborn children usually do. He also had another event that ties into the theme of today’s circle of life post. On Father’s day, two days after the death of his distant cousin Brian, Theron became a first-time father. His daughter, Daija Michelle, is named in honor of his late mother. It is Daija’s photo that graces this post.

Words from Angela’s Ashes: From Frank McCort’s Pulitzer Prize winning book, Angela’s Ashes there is a conversation that echoes every time I think of the circle of life. Young Frank is about to go to America to try to make a better life. He and his family have been through a most difficult life of poverty and hardships. His mother has died and the paraphrased words of wisdom are, “Be good to the ones you love because when you no longer can you’ll wish you had.” We close with that thought. Hug the ones you love a little tighter, phone the loved ones from whom you are estranged and open a dialog. Remember that life is always too short but never too sweet.

A little blogging music Maestro... From the musical “Fiddler on the Roof, “La Chiam, To Life!”

Dr. Forgot

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