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This morning I read a beautiful series of stories recorded by Tarvez Tucker, a neurologist in a neurological critical care center, online in The Oregonian. The last story was the best, and I reproduced it here, but you should read them all.
Long before age 89 when he fell down the stairs at home and sustained large bilateral subdural hematomas compressing his brain, Joe had made his end-of-life wishes clear. No surgery, no ventilator, no CPR. He had firm ideas about the dignity of dying, and what life and family meant to him.
Only once, early in their marriage, had he mentioned to his wife of 56 years the story about his mother. She had left him in foster care when he was 9; he never knew why and never saw her again. He had never spoken of her again to his wife, and never at all to his three daughters, throughout his long and happy marriage.
All four “my girls” as he called them were at his side when he died. They thought they knew him with the depth of detail earned by long years of family love. He recognized them, smiled, but his last words were not to them.
He said, “Mom, I have missed you.”
Peace and many blessings on all here.Published in