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The Saddest Day

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13 September 2006

The Saddest Day

A part of our human existence is to suffer the loss of those close and dear to us. When I was 28 years old I had a friend who, at 54 was considerably older than I was. His name was Bill Price, but we all knew and addressed him as "Uncle Bill". Uncle Bill was a kind, generous and comical sort of man and he had two very self destructive habits. One; he smoked 7-8 packs of cigarettes a day, and two; he drank his way through two fifths of Canadian whiskey a day. Bill and I were both bartenders at his sister-in-laws crab deck. I lived in an apartment over the bar and as such I was close with this family. In my communication with family members I learned that Bill's mother had died 8 years earlier and he had bottomed out after her death. He lost a good job of many years and turned to the bottle. The family said that Bill had never been the same since his mother had passed and he had never gotten over it. I can now relate to Uncle Bills grief. I have heard it said many times that there is no greater loss in ones life then that of ones mother.

Betty, my mother had suffered from many problems over the last ten years of her life. She had high blood pressure and a cholesterol count of 650. The doctor was amazed that she could actually be alive with numbers that high. Mom had a huge aneurism on the main artery beside her stomach, and the main arteries on either side of her neck were 90% blocked. When the surgery was completed to open the arteries in her neck the doctor discovered that her heart was almost completely blocked. Mom then underwent open heart surgery and had a quadruple bypass and a pacemaker installed. All of these conditions were coupled with the onset of diabetes and an existing lifelong battle with a serious thyroid disorder. Much to the family's amazement we had the pleasure of her company for seven years after all of her surgeries and treatments. Mom was in a weakened state for some time but soon snapped back beyond any of our expectations. Mother would never be able to drive herself around or go shopping by herself again but still went regularly with the assistance of my sister. I know that being homebound was the absolute hardest part of the whole ordeal for her because she was always very active in her personal life and in the community.

Mom had not been feeling well for about a week and finally asked dad to take her to the hospital. This was a very serious request coming from her as she had vowed she would not go back to the hospital again after all the recent traumatic experiences she had there. I knew that she must have felt really terrible to make this request. Dad took her to the ER and she was admitted for testing and put into the ICU where the doctors would try to discover the source of her pain. Mom spent three days in the ICU and was then moved out to the priority floor.



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