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When is it time to say goodbye?

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When is it time to say goodbye?

Old 21st Aug 2017, 10:58
  #41 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Tankertrashnav View Post
Just sparing a thought for our member RedhillPhil who is seeing off his late wife on her final journey today (post #4). I am sure we are all thinking of you Phil.
I attended the funeral of a friend's mother (who I had got to know during her twilight years).
The vicar, in his address, said that, whether you were a believer or not, Heaven was the memories of the departed by those who remained.
As someone who lost his much loved and much missed grandfather when I was aged 7, I regularly visit him in Heaven - keeping him there.
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 11:46
  #42 (permalink)  
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Tankertrashnav, yes indeed.

Goudie, Boxkite, thinking of you both as well.
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 21:43
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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That is what we witnessed at 1445 hrs. EDST this very day - a near total solar eclipse!

When one experiences such a thing, one is bound to feel tiny, insignificant, and devoid of meaning.

One might experience an immense sense of gratitude as well, having been gifted with eyes to perceive the dimming of the light, ears to hear the silence, skin to feel the palpable diminishment of ambient temperature, a nose to sweep the fecund blossoms and leaves left before the advent of fall, and the taste of a full-bodied ale lifted in toast to Old Luna who, with great infrequency, obtunds Old Sol!

One spends profound moments of empathy with Goudie, Boxkite, and Loose Rivets. Gentlemen all; who, just as the rest of us, have tremendously heavy crosses to bear. None of them lived so long nor spilled parts of their secret souls here without being made of the strongest steel, forged in the hottest white/blue fires. Let us pray that each of them remembers their immense innate strength! Let us hope that they recall their own gentility and patience

When I first learned the sky back in 1977, my flight instructor, who had 22,000 hours aloft and could teach, called "our" Cessna 152, 757WW, "Double Shot". During my very first lesson, he turned to me at 5,000 feet and said: "You realize that you're flying a bunch of loose rivets in formation!" I always paid extra attention during preflights thereafter and always pay attention to Loose Rivets! Cheer Up, Sir! You are an inspiration to so many, some 'cross the pond. Depression seems not to divide its horrid self longitudinally. We beat it as the team we are! Globally. Never give up! You laugh harder than you weep! Right?

Boxkite Montgolfier: you are the best of both worlds! Sixty years ago my Father and I built a Ben Franklin-inspired box kite. It flew like a champion at the end of a thousand meters of line. It was a little spot up amongst breeding cumuli. Dad handed me the loom from which he had unraveled monofilament that late summer day and held me by the shoulders to make sure that I should not become Icarus! That kite could pull! I have been aloft many times in hot air balloons - Shenandoah Valley, Southern Appalachians, California's Imperial Valley. I was, more often than not, accompanied by pulchritudinous females with big (American, British, Australian, Latvian, etc.) breasts. They would giggle with the champagne, cheese, and grapes that awaited us at touchdown. I would look skyward. I would want to be back up there. Hold your son tightly as he fights his battle. As you, he fights with valor and courage. As you, he has the gentility and ultimate irresistible strength of a hot air balloon's lift-off. He is probably stronger than you. You both have an embrace from me from far away.

Goudie: I cannot tell you how deeply I abhor Alzheimer's! I cannot tell you how much I admire you for sticking by your Bride's side as she slips away. She does not suffer: it is often and truthfully said that the bludgeon of Alzheimer's falls on the patient's loved ones, not the victim, who gets to relive childhood or... My cerebration is not what it was once, but I assure you that in your time of suffering there is a guy 'cross the pond who's right there by your side. Understanding. Never surrender! Plus, I love Gouda cheese and think of you every time I spread same upon a cracker!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how eclipses are...

- Ed

Last edited by cavuman1; 21st Aug 2017 at 21:48. Reason: Text Size
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 06:41
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Thank you for raising some a deeply philosophical issues in your thought provoking thread, G-CPTN. But before I write anything, may I express my sincere sympathy to those of you who have recently lost loved ones or who are going through the agony of watching a loved one die.

I am now of an age when one becomes resigned to what fate has to offer. I have been extremely lucky in my life and am grateful for that. Like most of us on this thread I have stared death in the face a few times and have had the luck to survive. I no longer fear death as such, merely the process of getting there. While it may be a horrible shock for those one leaves behind, a sudden death for the individual concerned is probably preferable to a long lingering illness – or, perhaps, even worse, a long and debilitating process of chemotherapy that does not succeed. I hope if I get cancer I will have the courage to say, ‘enough is enough’ and to die quickly in some degree of peace. I have watched others make that decision and it seems to offer less grief for everyone – the person dying and those left behind.

Like you, G-CPTN, I have reached my three score years and ten, have procreated and have grandchildren. I have passed on my genes. I now live every day looking at the beauty of nature around me and am thankful for it. If you really stop and take time to look it is amazing the beauty you see in even the little things around you. And for those of us who have spent a lifetime of flying, just take a moment to think of the wonderful things you were privileged to see from the air.

I am not religious – I lack the certitude of religious beliefs. I simply don’t know whether or not there is a God (or a guiding force) and it seems to me that to say, ‘my beliefs are right and yours are wrong’ is arrogant in the extreme, thus I am agnostic. Instead, I glory in the wonder of all the nature I find around me, and that gives me comfort, even though I know it is a fierce struggle for survival out there.

Many years ago I had a Near Death Experience (NDE). I collapsed at home and it took a long time for the paramedics to revive me. I came back to the world to find people thumping my chest and holding an oxygen mask to my face. I won’t go into the details. But the experience of losing consciousness was very beautiful as this man describes here (I can’t make the video start from the beginning, you will need to scroll it back):- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzSa5IX0mqA&t=619s

My experience was almost exactly like his. It was profoundly moving, very peaceful and very beautiful but, for me, no way was it religious. I believe that long white tunnel I floated down to be a physiological result of lack of blood to the brain, but I can easily see how a believer might think it religious.

Why do I tell you all this? Because I believe the moment of death is not as bad as we may think. As I said at the start of this post, it is the process of getting there that is the problem. Thus why prolong life unnecessarily? I hope this gives some degree of comfort to those of you who may be facing death or watching others doing so.

After all - all of life is a lottery. You and I are only here because of the chance meeting of one sperm with one egg!
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 13:23
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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If I knew it would be the last time
That I'd see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more.

If I knew it would be the last time
I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word,
so I could play them back day after day.

If I knew it would be the last time,
I could spare an extra minute
to stop and say "I love you,"
instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.

If I knew it would be the last time
I would be there to share your day,
Well I'm sure you'll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away.

For surely there's always tomorrow
to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance
to make everything just right.

There will always be another day
to say "I love you,"
And certainly there's another chance
to say our "Anything I can do?"

But just in case I might be wrong,
and today is all I get,
I'd like to say how much I love you
and I hope we never forget.

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone,
young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance
you get to hold your loved one tight.

So if you're waiting for tomorrow,
why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes,
you'll surely regret the day,

That you didn't take that extra time
for a smile, a hug, or a kiss
and you were too busy to grant someone,
what turned out to be their one last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today,
and whisper in their ear,
Tell them how much you love them
and that you'll always hold them dear

Take time to say "I'm sorry,"
"Please forgive me," "Thank you," or "It's okay."
And if tomorrow never comes,
you'll have no regrets about today.

By Dawn Huddleston
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 13:49
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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I've had a bloody good visit to the toy shop so hope to handle it with fortitude and not too much of a tantrum when the time comes to leave.
There will, of course, be no-one to fix everything and advise, yet again, that most computer problems can be solved by shutting it down and restarting (Just like glass aeroplanes)
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 15:00
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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By the time I was 30, I had lost eleven good friends who all died violently in RAF aircraft accidents
When I joined the RAF I didn't expect to see my 30th birthday. The number of people I have known who have died in aeroplane accidents is horrendous; I stopped counting at forty, yet I don't know of anybody killed in a road accident.

Aviation has been good to me. I have travelled over a major part of the world either at 30,000 ft. or 300 ft.. I was among the last to be trained on real aircraft; i.e. Provost T1 and Vampire and flew around most of the old Commonwealth on tankers.

Helicopters was the watershed. That took me to places that would be impossible for others forms of aviation. From Belize to the Solomon Islands with a multitude of places in between including most of Western Europe, Cyprus, Malaysia, Borneo, Hong Kong, Australia and my favourite, China. With this from of flying you are down with the people that live there, not cruising from one hotel to the other.

Three scores years and ten and I'm on a 10% bonus already. I have overcome prostrate cancer without chemo and I can stroll the three miles into town effortlessly. I don't expect to pop my clogs yet, my father lasted until 90 and my mother until 92 and she was still on 30/day.

Maybe it's because I didn't stop drinking/smoking/jumping into bed with strange women until very late in life and I didn't stop flying until I was 69.

(That's the jumping into bed bit. The PC stopped that).

Last edited by Fareastdriver; 22nd Aug 2017 at 15:34.
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 16:11
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks to everyone for the kind and inspiring thoughts
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 16:44
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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In some ways, I kind of think I've lived my life in reverse...

In my 20s / early 30s I was lucky to work all over the world... something in excess of 40 countries. That was at a time when travel was generally safe, people were pleased to see you and security was a minor consideration. This was the type of travel that many people only get to do in their retirement. These days, I'm more than happy to sit by the lake and relax. My travel bug was well and truly exorcised.

Over the years I lost 6 close friends in general aviation / gliding incidents and another 6 or more non-flying friends, mostly motorbike and vehicle crashes. Statistically they tell me this should not happen to one person. But it did. I guess it gave me a fatalistic approach to life.

Age 31, I married and had two great boys, did my utmost to raise them well and both are now fine adults. Far better than I ever was too. I guess I have done my bit. As the Darwinists, say "Nature has now finished with us!"

In 2014 I lost a great friend, who had just turned 50, to pancreatic cancer. He went from apparently healthy to dead in just over 4 weeks. His quality of life during his last few weeks was totally destroyed by the chemo he was given. In the end he refused it, knowing he had just days left.

These events have pretty much guided my own life-view. I'll enjoy life as much as I can, but having done everything I set out as my early life goals, I have no illusions about the myth of a golden old age. If and when I get diagnosed with something nasty, I plan to have a party with my family then one cold night, slip outside and enjoy the lake view until I go all warm and happy and drift away. (Having Winter temperatures of -45C can be useful at times!) If it occurs in Summer, I'll leave a note not to come looking for me, go for a paddle on the Great Lakes and vanish.

We'll see what happens. Best to have no illusions about ones 'right' to live forever. That's vanity.
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 16:50
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e340790,

I am told that hypothermia is a very gentle way to die.
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 17:07
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Quotation:

"In Memory's Garden, we meet every day".

(My wife of 61 years died this day last year).

Danny42C.
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 17:47
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Danny, I feel for you. Love and good wishes.
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 18:00
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Originally Posted by Bergerie1 View Post
e340790,

I am told that hypothermia is a very gentle way to die.

I can easily believe that it is. Many years ago, we had a SURVO who believed that sea dinghy drills should be as realistic as possible. After doing the usual, jump out of the door of a Wessex in the hover into Falmouth Bay (in April, when the sea temp was around 8 deg C) this guy got two SAR divers to jump in and stay under the surface, waiting until we had all got into our liferafts (the single man ones in the PSP), inflated the canopy, baled them out and buddied up together, so we didn't all drift apart. The divers then came up underneath us, one by one, capsizing each of us in turn, so we ended up back in the cold water. One of the guys I was next to, a chap called Nigel, that I knew pretty well, had the gas bottle ripped from his dinghy by the divers (I think they must have used it as a handle to capsize him).

When we had sorted ourselves out, we looked around and saw Nigel struggling to try and climb back on a deflated dinghy. Two of us paddled up either side of him, and after a lot of effort managed to get him partly out of the water and supported across the ends of our dinghies. He was grinning from ear to ear, and completely out of it. All I remember is him saying "I'm OK, I'm great, just leave me guys". Luckily one of the others fired a couple of miniflares and got the SAR Wessex back in, and we were all winched back up and Nigel was taken off to sick bay. We later found out that his core temperature had dropped to around 34 deg C.

From that I would reckon that hypothermia is a pretty pleasant way to go. Nigel seemed mildly pissed, but in a euphoric way. Talking to him later he had no memory of what had happened at all, the last thing he remembered was being very focussed on trying to get back into his deflated dinghy. Just as well, really, as the rest of us went and had words with the SURVO for being bang out of order. Not only had he done the trick with the divers, but the **** hadn't even arranged for a safety boat to be around during the drill; we were reliant on the SAR Wessex, which had been deliberately sent far enough away from us to be beyond our visual horizon, to make the drill more realistic..............
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 18:10
  #54 (permalink)  
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Thank you to every contributor.......all have given something of themselves in their writing on this thread..........it is very touching and beautiful.........life affirming even.
Life can be so tenuous, and yet our bodies fight hard to survive. I've been unlucky enough to see far more than my fair share of death......and on two occasions had accepted that my own number had come up. On both occasions, there was a tipping point, when the fight stopped and turned into acceptance, but with frustration at my stupidity.
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 18:24
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I'm 53 (and mostly solo these days, mostly) and woke up about 8 weeks ago deciding that I'd had enough of corporate stress and in-fighting, so I walked away from a team I loved and a multiple 6 figure salary to enjoy life while I still can. Friends and family think I'm absolutely bonkers - a complete Reggie Perrin, and maybe I am and this is just a classic mid-life crisis, but it's done now and I find myself in early retirement and enjoying the type of travel I could never have dreamed about while working. I suspect it was all prompted by me recently losing a friend at 55 to a brain tumour, bit of a wake up call, anyway I'm loving life again.

Items checked off - New York to do all the sites and all the shows on Broadway, then hopped on Queen Mary 2 for a transatlantic, then a few weeks with family and friends back in blighty. Flew my godson over from the UK and rented an Aston Martin to drive from Phoenix to Vegas and go crazy there for a few days, then a week at a beach house in California....well, you get the idea. Next comes Hong Kong and a week at a private island in the Marshalls the name of which I don't publicly share because I would prefer for it to remain a hidden gem. It's all from my own hard-earned money and I have been waiting a long time to cut loose, so what the hell.

As for checking out, I confess it does occupy my thinking more these days, I'm not afraid of dying per se, but I am afraid of the process of dying, I have seen and heard too many nightmare exits not to be afraid. Living where I live, Mexico is just a few hours drive away, and their pharmacies will let you buy almost anything with minimal fuss and with nothing more than a hastily prepared "prescription", to that end I know of one elderly local who has acquired 10 grams of Seconal which ironically he keeps locked in his gun safe to ensure a peaceful and pain free exit when the time comes. A bit morbid perhaps - but certainly practical.

Life is short, spend it doing what makes you happy - if you can.
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 18:46
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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As an old Chinese man told me.

今天是你生命的第一天 Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 21:00
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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The Great Fonsini

Sir: You are completely on the right track! I squandered some years in my early life/misspent youth (23-25 years of age) in charge of Bethlehem Steel's Plastics Purchasing Department. My responsibilities included keeping seven widely spread factories full of raw materials to be converted into saleable products.

If you ever possessed a zinc die-cast cap gun, I bought the zinc. If you ever had a "Cootie" (not those kind, you dirty-minded old guys!), I bought the polystyrene and polypropylene. If you ever had a cheap Zebco rod and reel, I purchased those raw materials as well. Did you ever have foamed injection moulded bi-fold doors and/or shutters? Me again, in the company of thousands of others. Dow, Monsanto, Shell, Amoco and other refiners provided our feed stocks.

Uh Oh! 1973 Arab Oil Embargo! No oil = no monomers. No monomers = no polymers. No polymers = 10,000 people out of work! The hardest business deal I ever nearly made was with the Vatican. They are very wise in the secular world of business and owned five tankersful of styrene monomer floating aimlessly in the Mediterranean, awaiting an huge profit. (My father always told me that Christmas was that time of year when all the folks of the Jewish persuasion gather around the cash register and sing “What a Friend We Have in Jesus!”) Catholics seem to have gotten the message...

I was dealing with a very pleasant Cardinal, who would later become Pope. I missed the bid by one-quarter of one cent per gallon and got a royal reaming from the CEO of Bethlehem Steel the following day. I was making the "big bucks" then - mid 1970's, more than $35,000/annum - which would translate to better than a quarter-million/annum in today's inflated/deflated dollars. I suspect that His Holiness was off put by my confirmation within the Episcopal Church.

Reset. One severe clear temperate springtime day, I drove my customary hour to work in my beloved Datsun 240-Z. (Great car! British Racing Green with a tan interior! Phenomenal acceleration and cornered on her Pirellis like a mountain goat on level land) I had a reserved parking place and a pretty secretary. I was first to arrive at headquarters that day; that was not unusual for I was often the first of the management team to arrive. Early bird catching worm and all that. I walked to the front door, fumbling with my immense round of keys to find the Medico uncopyable one. I reached the door and found it double padlocked with turn after turn of serious case-hardened chain. I looked skyward. I went back to the Z.

Thank you all for reading this far and being the friends I have never met but would really like to. Especially Fonsini. Here's why.

I drove home where my then-wife (high school sweetheart) awaited. She met me at the front door and exclaimed: "Did you hear the news? Bethlehem Steel declared bankruptcy!" I reciprocated her look of fear and loathing. We hugged and put our Atlanta house on the market. It sold rapidly and we moved to the then-Paradise of St. Simons Island, Georgia. Long Story Short: we invested in a five-bedroom, three and one-half bath property the backyard of which was the Atlantic Ocean. We raised two wondrous children (beneath stars and beside waves is always a fine place to do that!), a son who is a physician and a daughter who is an attorney (ugh! De Gustibus non Disputandem Est!) Along the way I learned to fly and wound up owning a Cessna 320 Skyknight and a 47' Bertram with tuna tower. I would not trade any of that for any reason. Especially the children.

Fonsini! Have you ever seen The Great Santini? This is one of my favorite movies for it depicts ocean and F-4's and familial discord and difficult racial relations and, well, life. Robert Duvall plays an emotional castrati who is married to a patient and endearing Blythe Danner. (Gwyneth Paltrow's Mumsie. Yowza!) The climax is sad but the message is clear, confirmatory, humane, and reassuring.

All of this simply to suggest that each and every shekel you ever earned belongs to you, by God, and it is your right to spend, squander, give away, bury, hide, eat, etc. each and all of them as YOU see fit! Your gains are not ill-gotten nor shall they be invested in any other way.

Just remember this one decent, gentle, and kind dictum. O! Great Fonsini and all who visit here:

FIRST: BE KIND TO YOURSELF!

- Ed

Last edited by cavuman1; 22nd Aug 2017 at 22:20. Reason: Resize text
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Old 23rd Aug 2017, 01:12
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by cavuman1 View Post
Fonsini! Have you ever seen The Great Santini? This is one of my favorite movies for it depicts ocean and F-4's and familial discord and difficult racial relations and, well, life. Robert Duvall plays an emotional castrati who is married to a patient and endearing Blythe Danner. (Gwyneth Paltrow's Mumsie. Yowza!) The climax is sad but the message is clear, confirmatory, humane, and reassuring.
Indeed I have - one of my favorites, the chicken soup scene still brings out my inner 12 year old.

Disconnecting from the corporate teet can be scary, even scarier when you don't see it coming, and as with most things in life it boils down to finances, but the last 2 months have been amazing and if I had the decision to make all over again I would do the exact same thing.

Alright Spartacus is just coming on cable, so it's time to settle in and have a Dos Equis
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Old 23rd Aug 2017, 02:54
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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I've lost more good friends to cancer than anything else, and I've just hit 45.

One in particular was a great mentor and friend. We would talk at least once a week, even if ever so briefly. Well it came to spring time a couple of years ago and I'd call him and leave a message, but didn't ever hear back from him. I figured he was busy, I was busy, so didn't think too much of it.
It got to the point that I became worried and had tracked down his employer when I received a phone call from a mutual acquaintance asking if I had heard the news......my ever so dear friend 'Big John' had terminal cancer and wasn't expected to make it through the weekend. And sure enough he passed on Sunday morning.

In hindsight he mentioned once that he didn't feel well and was going home early...and that was all he ever mentioned about it.

I still bitterly regret not making more effort to get in touch with him and I shall never understand why he didn't say anything to me about what he was going through. I guess I'll never know. Frankly it bothers me every day.

So if I ever get a terminal illness I shall let folks know what is going on. Maybe they won't care, but if they do they won't be left wondering what happened to me.

My mother in law was a very special woman who lost her husband to lung cancer. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and beat it. A year later she was out walking and fell over. We took her to get an X-ray of her ribs just to be sure. Anyway the doctor walks in and states that there's no broken bones, but how was her treatment progressing for her lung cancer? We had no idea at all. The diagnosis was up to 6 months, it was already stage 4. Anyway her and her three daughters went on a week long trip to the Bahamas, they came back and she died less than two weeks later.
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Old 23rd Aug 2017, 09:38
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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A mix of sad and inspiring stories on this thread make for emotional reading.
A year after my wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer's I decided to take her to Hawaii, where our middle daughter lives. She was reluctant at first but off we went anyway. We had the most wonderful three weeks there and she really blossomed, swimming, enjoying the fine weather and being doted on by our daughter and her family. Our daughter took lots of photos so we have an album full of beautiful photos of our time there and I treasure the memories it brings back to me.
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