On the passing of my father

My father passed away Thursday just a little after noon. He’d been in and out of emergency rooms for a couple weeks trying to figure out various complaints to no result until the last, which was the second ER trip after visits to the urgent care clinic our docs operate. 

The last admission led to a diagnosis of lung cancer, which had spread to the brain. The doctor last Saturday let me look over his shoulder at the CT scans that’d led to his diagnosis. A bright nova the size of a racquetball in the scan was the major indicator, an alpha dog amidst the pack. 

How I paid for all my college gave me more than I needed to know with the scans. I’d already surmised the same from the blood work I’d had access to. 

After the doc told him, he was so calm, finally having an answer to the last several months of concerns. Knowledge, while a burden, can also be a bringer of peace. 

For the first two days after the reveal, he was on target, brain dumping to me everything he felt I needed that I knew or didn’t know. His first concern was to make sure his wife of fifty one years was taken care of. Everything else was in the rumble seat. 

Mom has been in rehab since last November. Her MS stole her legs and dropped her on her poreiotic spine. The damage was outlandish, requiring hardware, and multiple visits to Aurora, not an easy trip from the Fort. Her back finally closed from the surgery a few days ago, but we’ll not go into the angst in that one for now. 

Short story longer, since November last, mom’s been home a month, dad has been “baching” it at home the rest of the time. Every day, he’d make the drive to see her at rehab here in the Fort, grab her laundry and set with her a bit. Before this last, he’d not been over to visit as much, and his guilt was overwhelming. Two folk from a generation of “don’t worry about it.” 

The hardest was the fifty first anniversary, this last eighth of August. Dad didn’t trust his legs, refused to “bother” me and their anniversary was phoned in. I didn’t know as I was told they got together from both. Bad son. 

Dad went into Hospice, I visited as often as I could, yet he slid down the pale slope so quickly I worried he wouldn’t know we were there as he drifted with the tide of his cancer. The facility mom was being cared for in ensured transport so we were both there, wheels in line to keep him company.  

Thursday, I left work early to try (again) to get my wheelchair frame replaced, the fourth attempt now. I was planning to get the chair done, then spend the afternoon again with dad, the wheelchair techs costing me too much time as it was. Got a call at the scheduled time to say it’d be another hour and a half. I hung up and got the call from Hospice. My amazing wife backed me up: I picked her and the dogs up and rushed over. Mom was there, but we’d both missed his departure by some minutes. 

I’ve paid my way through college with being there for too many deaths. I’m worried I’ve become cold, callous, due to my exposure. It’s harder when it’s family though. At least I was able to bring some comfort to mom. At least I hope I did. We sat and chatted, holding hands for a few hours watching over my father’s emaciated body (as with all deaths, he’d chosen to refuse food the last several days). 

Now I’m working through the funereal duties of the son, I love them both too much not to. Some semblance of calm in the silence.

Signatures and arrangements, set to my parents final wishes. Paperwork is the bane of life, and it seems even death can’t free you from it, it’s just someone else has to sign. At the end, all you’re left with is ink and, if you’re lucky, memories and some photos Better than photos and some memories. Cherish the time you have with your loved ones, make memories, live while you are.

Cue the hatery (should commentry ensue)

The numbers state that in 2015, the US had over 33,000 opioid deaths. For this, our elected president declared a “national emergency” (yet nothing seems to have been done). 

Compare that with the 30,000  a year in the US from gun violence. Yet again, nothing’s to be done. It’s not just this president, it’s been this way at least since I could vote. The sophists we elected choose to offer hollow words rather than solid actions.

This comes to my mind this morning as I listen to the sound of gunfire this morning on NPR,  brought to us from folk’s video in Las Vegas. It’s a sound I’m intimately familiar with, as well as the effects on the human body. 

I turned off the radio, not my usual action on a Sunday morning. At a point in my life, I volunteered for a job that exposed me to such things so I could better myself with college. I made a choice, others who chose not to make that choice should not have to be exposed to such things. That, to me, is America. You can choose what and what not to do. 

Yet, we’ve become too accepting of death. The vice-president speaks to the mourning and tells them we “are united in our resolve to end such evil in our time,” but the talking heads prove we are not. The casusists will drown out reason with purchased words. 

Once again we hear “It was a tragedy of unimaginable proportions.” Just like the last one. Just like Columbine. Just like Newtown. Just like Aurora.  Just like Orlando. Sadly, it’s become far too imaginable.  

Yet, to speak of any of this publicly will heap scorn and threats upon the writers, even if all we do is ask ” what can we do?”

Spending most of my life in the West, I’ve a more then passing acquaintance with guns. There’s a purpose out here. Hunting for food; defense from dangerous critters who mean us harm while in the hills. But there also needs to be a reasonable limit. But for this topic, reason seems to be slapped down by polemics. 

Seems like it’s time, let see how that goes…

Having been surprised to see that I actually have a Blog, I thought I might be time to get off my bum and try some writery in the public venue.

So, here we are, “on the raggedy edge” so to speak, giving it a shot again, seeing if our words resonate with even my own self once I see how they look on that interwebby thing.

I don’t expect to see myself writing much, especially based off the fact that my previous post was from the early 2000s, but we’ll see if the wordery flows. Been needing another hobby, this seems like an easy way to go. As much as I end up trying to weave tales and entertain folk out in the bars, this may be a nice little way too keep myself entertained.

I’ll even try adding a photo. I believe looking at my writing Nook you understand why there may have been a bit of a gap.

2017-10-07 15.31.32

Another Tavern for Old Town?

The word just came down…the Purple Martini will not be allowed a liquor license. As a resident in Old Town, I don’t feel any sadness. A ten-thousand square foot bar, open primarily at night, this in my mind does not promote growth for a downtown region that already has some problems remaining vital. Currently, the retail to restaurant ration is too far skewed, and this would not help out the longevity, or the sustainability, of Old Town. Two days of liquor hearings have balanced that fact out.

A lot of the testimony that’s come out, I agree with, especially living down here. There are too many problems concurrent with the current ratio–broken windows, obnoxious ambulators, various offal on our properties and business steps. Something we’ve come to accept living down here, but not one we care to encourage.

The interesting part was sharing details with our Denver relatives for Thansgiving..the very same “young professionals” that the bar was trying to lure in. In Denver, even in LoDo, where the young professionals thrive, the Purple martini had to move on due to lack of business…in a climate very similar in ratio to Fort Collins, but very dissimilar in wages and employment. Yet this bar was going to gain this cleintele. Sadly, I, and apparently many others saw the same future here for the bar, one where the owners will need to cater to the college crowd, which tends, historically, to be the root of many alcohol related problems here. Want more evidence? Ask the owner of the Crown Pub, who at one point, when he opened, told the newspaper that they wouldn’t allow the “Blue-jean, blue collar crowd” in. That has changed to keep the bar open. Even my friends down at Lucky Joe’s, who were aiming for the twenty-five and older crowd had to come to a realization that to earn money in Fort Collins as a bar, one must consider and include the college crowd’s disposable income, for they’re the only one’s who don’t watch their money as tightly.

To top it off, the manager of the Purple Martini stated, “You can bet I’m going to keep my eye on the city. The minute the gavel pounds down in favor of another liquor license down there, I’m calling my attorney about a lawsuit.” I believe the residents and business owners down here have but one response, “thank you!”
Couple of links from our local “newspaper”

Day One    Day Two    Day Three    Final?