Archive for the ‘Death’ Category

I want to thank everyone for the emails, cards and messages regarding the death of my mother. I’ve been taking care of Mom since 1997 when she was diagnosed with cancer. She survived that bout though the past fourteen years turned into a constant stream of illnesses for her. If it was a virus going around, Mom was destined to catch it.

She passed on April 2nd though I prefer to think she went on the 1st. Mom did love a good joke and April Fool’s Day would be a fitting date. I’d taken her to the emergency room ten days before and she received a pacemaker. She was doing well so I brought her home on the twenty-ninth.¬†We were supposed to have home health aides and a nurse but the agency (koff) screwed that up.

THAT’S a story for another time.

Mom was wanting a bath and since I couldn’t get her up the steps we opted for the kitchen sink. I’d bought this little shelf thing that she was supposed to hold against the back of her neck so I could wash her hair and the water would run into the sink. One thing I didn’t take into account was that she didn’t have a neck! So I was studiously washing and rinsing her hair only to notice her belly was jiggling because she was laughing. I asked her what was wrong and she gave me a Mona-Lisa smile and said ‘nothing’.

Only later did I realize her neck was too short to keep the tray in place and all the water was running down her back. We laughed and she said, ‘That’s my kid.’

Yes, Mom, I am definitely your daughter.

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Paul Newman, dead at 83. He was one of my favorite actors and he eschewed the Hollywood scene as being ‘rubbish’. Married twice, he was married to Joanne Woodward for fifty years before his death – how un-Hollywood is that?

How many times can you say you saw someone on tv and your life will never be the same?

I can say that about Randy Pausch.

Randy was a Carnagie Mellon (Whoa…big brains) professor whose greatest gift wasn’t in teaching others, it was his love for his children.

In academia, it’s common to ask tenured professors to give a lecture called The Last Lecture. This lecture is all about what they would want to say if they learned they were going to die tomorrow. The difference in Randy’s lecture was the he was really going to die.

Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Paudch delivered the lecture of a lifetime in September 2007. It wasn’t so much about what he wanted to say, it was more about what he wanted to say to his children in the future – the future without him. It was funny, poignant, uplifting and brilliant – an amazing statement from an everyday guy.

Thankfully someone uploaded it to YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSo – be warned, it is long but SO worth the time. Once you see it, your life will never be the same.

I first saw this in December and I immediate sent links to all my close friends. The Last Lecture was made into a book and has been on the best seller list since April.
Randy Pausch passed away today at the age of 47.

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