Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Witnessing death

Death, unfortunately is part of living. Chuck wrote a blog about his dad, Lonzo, on Father’s Day Sunday and mentioned it was probably the last Father’s Day he would spend with him. Sadly, he was right. Lonzo passed away Monday evening. Chuck, whom I consider a very good friend, has been courageous about it. When last I spoke with Chuck about Lonzo, he expected it soon. He sent me an email late Tuesday, notifying me of his death and to look for the obit within the next day or two on the Poteau Daily News or Ft. Smith Times-Record websites, since I always inform my fellow Heavenerites of obits. Death is what prompted me to write this blog.

I blogged on Father’s Day about my dad and his passing only weeks before Cynthia and I married. We were in the cafeteria at Sparks Hospital in Ft. Smith , when an announcement came over the loud speaker for the Inman family to report to the 3rd Floor. We, too, had been expecting it to happen anytime. That fact didn’t make it any easier. My daughter Karen was en route to Ft. Smith and missed getting to see him alive by only a few minutes.

Lonzo’s passing makes me sad for Chuck and his wife Maureen, his sister Judy and her family, Patricia and her family and Joyce. I don’t know if Joyce has a family, because I haven’t kept up with her life, other than the fact she works with Judy. It also made me think of the people I’ve actually seen take their last breaths of life, just as Chuck did Lonzo. I’ve been present for two other men I knew personally. One was my friend George’s dad and the other was my friend Judy’s dad. George handled his dad’s passing very maturely. I was standing next to George at a hospital in Longview and we watched on the monitor as it redlined. I was also at Judy’s dad’s bedside as he passed. Judy had left for the evening and I had relieved her. Others I have lost, but not witnessed, were my mother and step-mother, Lola and Jaunita. Cynthia has lost her mother and dad, Eloise and Felix, as well as a brother, Larry. None, of course, were easy, but yet comforting to realize they all joined loved ones in Heaven.

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