A to Z April Challenge

During the month of April I will be doing a different spin on my memoir posts. It starts with a song. Each song will be followed by a brief essay that is evoked or inspired by that song. You might want to click on the YouTube link to hear the song as you read the piece I've written. Or you can listen to the song lyrics first and then read. Whichever way you choose, I mostly hope you'll read and leave a comment with your thoughts about my post. Thank you for visiting and please follow the blog if you are not doing so already.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Passing of Another Brave Soldier

         For the past couple months I've been getting reports of the worsening condition of the man whom I have thought of as my stepfather for the past 15 years or so.  George Lechelt came into my mother's life in 1997, seven years after the passing of my father to pancreatic cancer.   George is a good man who has been an ideal companion to my mother during that time.

           George was diagnosed with liver cancer in August, but it had probably been present for some time prior to that.  He had been experiencing discomfort in the abdomen for some time, but had attributed it to digestive problems.  We don't know for sure if it was the cancer then, but now we know for sure.  As I write this, George lies in a comatose state in a hospital in Maryville, Tennessee.  The doctors give him two days to two weeks--it looks like we're closer to the shorter prognostication.

           I'll be leaving on Sunday (it's Friday night right now) to go back to Tennessee to say my good-bye to George and spend some time with my mother.  She's having a tough time with this and I'm sure there are some very difficult days ahead for her.  Since I live in California I rarely get to visit them.  Fortunately, my brothers and sisters live close to our mother and will be able to give her plenty of support and love.

           The upcoming days will be days of reflection and reminiscing.   It will be one of those happy and sad times when families are brought together due to the passing of one.  I'm getting to the age where I'll be having more and more times like this.  There have been better reunions in the past and I hope more happier ones to come in the future.   George's passing is going to leave a big empty space in the family gatherings.

           Someday I'll write more about George, but I will say this about him now:  George was one heck of an American patriot.  He came to America from Poland when he was a young man.  He served his adopted country in the U.S. Army after World War Two.  He loved John Wayne movies, big band music, and anything that symbolized America.  He had one of the biggest hearts of anyone I know.

            George, even though you were heading toward 70 when I met you and I was pushing 50, I feel like I've known you all my life.  I wish I could hear more of your stories and share more of your wisdom and passions in life.  I was away so much of the time and never got to know you as well as I would have liked .

              Life is like that.  We think maybe next time we'll have time to visit more and talk more.  But there never seems to be enough time.   I'm going to miss George.



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15 comments:

Sally said...

My thoughts are with you and your mother and family at this time.

RHYTHM AND RHYME said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and the the family at this time.
Safe journey Lee.
Yvonne.

Wendy said...

To be appreciated and admired is the best gift. George is a lucky man. I'll be thinking of you and your family.

D.G. Hudson said...

I've been there, Lee. I've lost both my parents, and a younger brother, and it's not easy. Seeing our parents age or become ill highlights our mortality.

My sympathies are with you,Lee. George sounds like he was a fine man. Anyone who likes big bands is OK in my book.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

I'll second D.G. Hudson's remark: anyone who digs Big Band music AND John Wayne movies... well!

As you know, Bro, I've prayed for EVERYONE concerned. Have a safe trip, Lee.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

M. J. Joachim said...

Keeping you and yours in my prayers. Family is important. Despite the circumstances, it's nice you get to spend some extra time with yours. I'm so sorry for your grief though. Wishing you and yours every peace possible. M. J.

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

All the very best to you and your family throughout the difficult days ahead. I'm sure George knows how much he is loved and accepted...the most important thing in life.

Arlee Bird said...

My thanks to all who have left and will be leaving the kind words. I just received word that George passed peacefully late Saturday afternoon. He was surrounded by family and with my mother by his side. I won't be getting to see him as I had hoped, but I'll be there for his memorial service and most importantly to stay several days with my mother. She's going to have a tough time ahead, but she's got several family members nearby to provide her the support she needs.

Thanks to all
Lee

thea said...

I pray for peace for you and your family at this time. and safe travels for you.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Dear Lee - my thoughts are with you and even though you weren't actually there - you were with him as such, and I'm sure he knew. Your mother will be so happy to see you ... because as you say she will be sorely missing George, also you'll be there for her and to help her through these times.

George sounds one lovely man and of great support to your mother, and that's the most important thing for a son - he was her rock. I look forward to hearing more about him in due course.

My thoughts will be with you in these coming days ... and with your family, thankfully you are together and your siblings have been with their mother during this enormous loss from her life.

Lee - travel safely ... sent with blessings - Hilary

Teresa Coltrin@Journaling Woman said...

Praying for all of you. These times are the worst.

Dee said...

Dear Lee, I'm writing this on Friday, the 19th, so George may have died by now. I hope you got to his bedside in time to say goodbye. I've always heard--although I don't know how anyone can really know this--that the last sense that goes is hearing. So I hope you got to share with him the sentiments of this posting. He sounds like such a wonderfully gentle man within himself. Peace.

Tyrean Martinson said...

This is a beautiful reflection. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

CMSmith said...

My condolences, Arlee. Such a difficult thing. Death sometimes makes me question the point of life. It usually ends so badly, leaving people behind with shattered lives. It's difficult to understand the point of it all at times.

Thinking of you and your mother.

Agnes Jimenez said...

Hi Lee. I'm really sorry for your loss. My condolences to you and your family. Hope you'll get through this gloomy phase of your life.

You're absolutely right. There's never enough time when it comes to spending time for our loved ones. This is the very reason why we should show how much we treasure them while they are still alive.