The Heart that Kept on Giving Finally Gives Out After Long, Productive Life
Tampico Terrace was eerily quiet at 9 pm Tuesday night, 10/16.
The big heart that had touched so many over it’s almost 98 years has finally been stilled. Though his body fought to continue, his heart just couldn’t drive it anymore. It was used up, having given so much to so many over the years.
Jerry had entered many nursing homes in his day , caring for patients during a long medical career in Berkeley and Oakland and now Dad was on the other end, being well cared for as nurses and staff were saying their goodbyes to one of their own.
We all looked on sadly as nurse R noted Dad’s last breaths around 9 pm,one day before his own mother’s birthday and two days before son Don’s.Dad already had been announcing his 98th birthday, which is actually November 25.
As our Dr. R noted earlier in the day, it would mark the end of an era of the ‘old school doctors,’ before there were hospitalists, when doctors still visited thier own patients in hospitals and some, like Dad, still made house calls. Dr. R’sown father, A , was one of those old school guys and good friends with Dad.It was also the end of a series of courageous life battles that won Dad another half dozen yearsof good living, going against the medical grain of those encouraging hospice.. And finally, Dad got to live out his life on HIS terms. He was always able to make his own decisions which we asked him about, often, and honored them.
Initial ceremonial plans to be announced shortly
Final(?) Thought from son Burt – In retrospect, glad Dad never went on hospice. It allowed us to keep up a positive approach to living , keeping the hope alive for Dad getting better with therapy,even if we had to do it ourselves. I think it lifted Dad’s spirits rather than to think he waswaiting out the days… a thought confirmed just tonight by a key Tampico staffer. As with sisterJoan, brother Don, and mother Pauline, hope was always on their side and sustained them through what could have been more difficult times, I believe. And, on a personal note this has been a revelationand mostly positive, yet eye-opening experience dealing with the industrial medical complex.The big reward came with seeing Dad come through time and again with smiles, despite the odds and naysayers against him, something family members Don, Joan and Mother were not as fortunate to experience.
Special thanks to the many who played a part in this mostly positive journey for Dad, especially caregivers Joseph, Herman, Dismus, Leslie,, Dr. Rowe, Mindy, Kristine (who made a big save redirecting Dad to Tampico from assisted living plus ) as well as friends and family,and most especially Dad,, who refused to give up a tough battle which took him through the not so hallowed halls of Stanford Hospital to John Muir Walnut Creek and Concord Hospitals, to Manor Care and Tampico skilled nursing, where he ‘hung on’ so long for me.
Jerry and Burt were working on Jerry’s memoirs the past several years – but he just called them interesting stories. Rather than making them into a book, at least now, we’d like to share them from time to time. Here’s one of the real interesting ones, repleat with intrigue and all, ‘Why Grandma Cried.’ Enjoy…