Posts tagged “memorial”.

A sad summer…

Not that I think anyone reads this, but if there is a person out there that does, or if years from now when I’m suffering from Alzheimer’s I need an overt reminder, last year I had a really bad week. My Dad went into ICU and was eventually diagnosed with MDS, a form of Leukemia. So, from that week in September, till July 4th, my Dad fought his disease. On July 4th, 2010, he succumbed to pneumonia.

I saw my dad just weeks before when I took a few extra days off to visit him on my way to Michigan for the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals. It was only 600 miles out of my way and only an extra day of vacation from work to visit for three days. At work we were (and sadly still are) navigating a huge merger and unfortunately the pressure there on top of everything else prohibited me from spending more time with my father during his last days on Earth. It saddens me, but I take comfort in the simple phrases, “That’s life,” and “You have to do what you have to do.” They were phrases I heard from him often. He missed a lot of my childhood too. Not that I blame him. He was doing what he had to do to keep a family afloat, although, sometimes against his will, but all that is water under a very old, very distant bridge. I was doing what I had to do. I keep telling myself that. And I know that he understood.

I’m the kind of adult to make myself a big bowl of ice cream before dinner and when my kids complain I reply, “It’s good to be an adult!” Now I feel quite the opposite. Being a responsible adult, I was compelled by cynical, rational, dependable, logical thought to do what I had to do instead of doing what I wanted to do. Although, maybe to be fair I cowardly hid behind my responsibilities to avoid mental anguish and heartbreak? It was so difficult being with my father the last two or three times I visited him. Each time it tore a hole in my heart. I can honestly reflect and see that I did take comfort in my responsibilities and felt a little like they were excuses to avoid my obligations to my father. If I were to grade myself, I’d give myself a B+, I did a good job, but I could have done so much better.

And since my last post, I’ve been in a really bad place all summer long… last spring… last winter, and all of last fall. Life is just starting to feel like it’s beginning to return to normal. I know I’m still grieving. I also know that I won’t know when I stop. It’s not like you can put a date and a time stamp on the end of the process.

If someone sees this writing, far in the future when technology allows time travel into the past, please do me a favor, visit Mike Esposito at the Barry Tepp Company in Metuchen, NJ, USA at 11 Lenard Street, (Latitude 40.547102, Longitude -74.372678) some time between 1973 and 1974 and give this message to him, “Your son Andrew has sent a message through time. He loved you with all his heart and missed you terribly. He knew everything you’ve done in your life, all your secrets were revealed, and he forgave you and loved you unconditionally until the end.” That would be nice and shouldn’t mess up the time line any, he came to know that. It would just be nice if he knew it sooner.

Dad at the NJ Aquarium, Aug 2008

Country Music Video Week from Hell

You know how the country song goes.

“I lost my job, my truck broke down, my best friend kicked my dog and my wife is sleeping with a clown…”

Well, my life took a country song turn a few weeks ago. It started with a phone call Monday afternoon from my Step Mother in NJ. My dad was in ICU. He was bleeding internally and it wasn’t stopping. I was point at work, the go-to guy for anything that goes wrong. I quickly informed my manager of my family emergency and worked with him to cover my obligations for the week. I packed and was on the road at 7:00 p.m.

I love driving, which is why I feel the need to remind myself about the details of the drive. I drove up Interstate 85 to Petersburg VA. On the way, I had a few work phone calls and a text or two with my boss. I picked up Interstate 95 north in Petersburg. I had planned to run straight up 95, but my GPS and several dozen road signs said there was evening road work with delays of more than an hour. So I got off Interstate 95 for a pit-stop at Virgina State Road 207. I grabbed a quick bite to eat at Subway. I decided to follow 207 north which took me over to U.S. Highway 301 north which I followed until I hit Maryland State Road 3 north. Which lead me, with the help of my GPS, to Interstate 97 north, then to Interstate 895 and finally back to Interstate 95 north. Circumventing Washington DC and the night time construction completely. It was a good ride. I made it to New Jersey in good time and had almost no traffic to deal with. I love night driving. I arrived on my parents farm around 5:00 a.m. I pulled up behind the main barn, cracked my windows, reclined my seat, and fell immediately asleep.

I slept for four hours. I woke at 9:00 a.m., drove up to the farmhouse and visited with my family for a while. It drives my step mother completely nuts when I sleep in my car on the farm. “Why don’t you come in? You can sleep in the guest room upstairs,” she says. And every time I try to delicately explain that I can’t breathe in the house with the dogs, dust and chain smoking that goes on in there. But I really do it because I like getting on her nerves. I do really like the attention, and I’m OK admitting it.

I hung out till visiting hours started at the hospital. I added some Old Spice to my growing ripeness, threw on a clean T-shirt, and went to visit my Dad with my Step-Brother. I planned to visit till around hotel check-in time. I was really looking forward to a shower — 14 hours in a car made me pretty funky. After cleaning up I planned to visit my dad again in the evening.

I might have been with my Dad maybe an hour when I got a work call. I knew something was up right away when my co-worker asked me to take a walk and leave my Dad’s room. So, I walked out into the hallway where he proceeded to ask me if I was sitting down. In my patented form of indignation I replied, “No, I’m not sitting down, you just told me to take a walk! What’s up?” I was a little annoyed to be bothered while I was in the ICU. He then asked me, “Do you want the long version or the short version?” To which I replied, “Spit it out! What are you talking about?”

He then proceeded to tell me that our manager, who had just helped me coordinate work and enabled me to get up to see my father, was dead. Fatal. Mort. Fin.

For respect for his memory, and his family, I’m not going to discuss it further here, aside from how difficult it was to deal with on top of my already stressful week.

I visited with my father some more, then went to McDonald’s with my brother, grabbed a sandwich and used the AT&T wireless network there to procure a hotel room for the week. I booked a room on for $58 per night through that coming Friday. I dropped my brother off at the farm and checked into my hotel. After I got settled in, I grabbed a very needed shower, rested a while, and went back to see my Dad.

Visiting hours for ICU were an hour earlier than the rest of the Hospital and I got a little irate at the staff, having driven several hundred miles, I felt they should cut me some slack, which they did, after waiting a half hour to get back onto the floor.

And here I have to stop and make a confession. I’ve been running back and forth visiting my Father for weeks. I started this story two months ago, and in the chaos of family crisis, work crisis, economic crisis, pandemic crisis, etc., ad nauseum… I neglected my on-line story and sadly don’t remember all of the quaint happenings to continue telling the story in such rich detail. The detail was mostly for me. After reading what I wrote, I can now separate my trips and tell what happened when I was first up there and what happened on subsequent visits. But let me finish this story in a less descriptive and more succinct manner.

“My Father was 700 miles away in Intensive Care, my boss took his life while I drove all night, and while I was away, my ‘little friend & canine companion’ had to be put to sleep by my wife.”

It was sad that I wasn’t there to say my final good-bye to Salvadore Doggie. We knew Sal was old and in failing health. And he and I had gotten to spend a lot of quality time together since I started working from home more frequently. I really wish I could have been by his side at the end. But, faced with the choice of seeing my father, I could have done nothing differently. I have many fond memories of my little buddy and many fantastic photos of Salvadore Doggie. He’ll be missed, but he will never be forgotten.

My father was diagnosed with MDS. He’s had a really rough two months. He’s lucky to still be alive. I shocked that I knew about this disease, and there was such a miraculous treatment, from watching NOVA on PBS. Dad stayed in the hospital about five weeks, in two separate visits, and is finally getting treated.

Not finishing this story was weighing on me. I’m glad I finally got it posted.

Dear Diary…

sm_rspca_diaryThis week was tumultuous.

James Aiken, a friend and the principal of my daughter’s school passed away this week at the age of 52. The funeral was Saturday in Cherryville, NC. It was about an hour and a half drive by car.

Work was having a Disaster Event this weekend. A Disaster Event is a planned event that we say, “OK, a giant sink hole opened up underneath our production facility. All systems are down and unreachable. Get our disaster site up and running immediately. Ready. Set. Go.” And of course I had a mistake that was brought to light during the exercise which I had to fix.

I got a hair up my butt, and decided to answer the question, “Who watches the watchmen?” The answer of course was “I did last night.” A friend of mine and I decided to catch the 9:30 p.m. showing. I knew it was a long movie, so I set up my playlist early. I recorded and queued some talkie bits. I even set up a multi-million-meat giveaway. But when I tried to connect to the CLAM Shoutcast server at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time (Sunday morning, 01:30 UT) I received a password error. I didn’t have time to trouble shoot it.

When I got back home, still in good time for Intraweb Radios, there was a pit bull in my front yard. I had a hard time getting out of the car. But soon came to realize that this particular dog was friendly, thirsty, and cold. I got her some water and a blanket. She wanted to come in the house, but it was just after midnight, my kids were sleeping, and I have a dog. Imagine the ruckus that would have caused… “My dog and this dog wake up my kids. My wife goes for the butcher knife… not for the dogs but for me.” Just my imagination, but probably not far from the truth. So I wrapped this sweet little pit bull in a blanket and sat with her, out in the cold, waiting for animal control to come pick her up.

When I finally got online, I found the Shoutcast server accepting my login information, but no audience. So instead I watched the final episode of Battlestar Galactica — good ending.

In loving memory of Bob

I wanted to let my friends and family know that my wife Leslie lost her father this past week.

I really loved Bob. He was a very good friend. I will miss him terribly.

A photo of Bob and Me at my wedding rehersal dinner back in '95.

A photo of Bob and Me at my wedding rehearsal dinner back in 1995

—– Obituary —–

Robert John Hintz

Mr. Hintz, 80, devoted husband, father and grandfather, died December 12, 2008 at Levine Dickson Hospice House in Huntersville, NC. A private Memorial for the family will be held at St. Marks Episcopal Church.

Bob was born July 23, 1928 in Camden NJ. He was the youngest son of Viola and Frederick Hintz. He grew up in the Philadelphia area and attended La Salle University.

Bob served his country in both the Army and Marines and served a tour of duty in Korea.

In the early 1960s he moved to Northern California where he worked in the airline industry. There Bob met his wife, Nancy, and they have been married for more than 43 years. They moved to South Florida in 1968 where he continued to work in the airline industry for the remainder of his career.

Bob lived, worked, attended church and raised his family in South Florida and remained a lifelong 49ers fan. He moved to Huntersville NC in 2006 so he and Nancy could be close to their family.

Bob is survived by his wife Nancy, his children and their spouses, Leslie, Bobby, Andrew and Michelle, his grandchildren, Lia, Alana and Zann, his brother Frederick, his niece Malinda, and his in-laws Art and Betty Sanford.

His spirit and commitment will be missed by all those who love him.

Memorials may be made to:

Levine and Dickson Hospice House,
11900 Vanstory Drive
Huntersville NC 28078

Raymer Funeral Home of Huntersville is serving the family.

Published in the Charlotte Observer on 12/14/2008

—– Reading from his Funeral —–

I’m Free

Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free
I’m following the path God has chosen for me.
I took His hand when I heard him call;
I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day,
To laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way;
I’ve now found peace at the end of day.

If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joys.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss;
Oh yes, these things, I too will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow
Look for the sunshine of tomorrow.

My life’s been full, I savored much;
Good friends, good times, a loved ones touch.
Perhaps my time seems all to brief;
Don’t lengthen your pain with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and peace to thee,
God wanted me now-He set me free

Author:  Shannon Lee Moseley