Friday, February 6, 2015

February 6, 2015 = 33 years since my father died.

Here's a excerpt from Mom's life story Jan. 1982 about Daddy's last month of life.
It so happened that this was one of those bad winters with lots of snow and wind and bad roads.  Arnold said he didn’t want me driving to Burley because of the roads.  I called him at the Burley Hospital on the telephone almost every day.
            On my last birthday card from Arnold--January 14, 1982, he was so weak he could hardly write.  He had “To Ma” on the front and just signed “Al” on the inside.  The card

had this printed message: “To My Wonderful Wife
                        “A wife—
                          her companionship is your delight…
                          her laughter is your joy…
                          her dreams are your goals…
                          her faith is your strength.
                                    Your love turns everyday living into something warm
                                    And beautiful…
                                    And simple pleasures into something special.
                                    I’m so happy to be sharing life with you!
                                                Happy Birthday With All My Love”

Eileen brought Arnold home on January 7th from the Burley hospital.  The roads were snowy and slick.  I was taking care of Arnold, changing his bandages from his third surgery since August and I was also driving back and forth to Wendell to help take care of Dad and Mother.  Arnold couldn’t keep food down so wasn’t eating much. 
He was home less than a week—for the last time.  I took him back to the Burley hospital on January 12th and he was transferred to the Salt Lake L.D.S. Hospital on January 15th by ambulance.  Eileen and I followed in my car. 
            Eileen drove back to Burley and I stayed with Don and Marcele.  I took the bus back and forth from their home to the LDS Hospital.
            Arnold had a really good doctor there.  His name was Dr. Edwards, a cancer specialist.  

Surgery Number 4

They did a CT Scan on the 16th then operated on Arnold January 20th.  They tried to do an illioscopy (?sp) but the cancer had spread and metastasized and there was nothing they could do.  Dr. Edwards said the tumors were growing faster than they could cut them out and there was no hope.  He said that Arnold had just a few weeks to live.  He only lived 17 more days.
            While I was there they had me to go to a session where they informed family members how to cope, etc.  Our teacher said she had Lupus so she could empathize with us.
            Arnold was dismissed from the LDS Hospital on January 30th, a Saturday.  Eileen had driven back to Salt Lake in their van so Arnold could lie across the back seat going back to Burley.  

February 6, 2015 ...
   Thirty-three years ago today--February 6, 1982--my father died in the Cassia Memorial Hospital at age 69 in Burley, Idaho, after a hard-fought six-month battle with colon cancer.
My mom, Verna Albertson, my sister, Janice, and I were at his hospital bedside. Janice and Don had driven up that Saturday morning from Orem, Utah.  

I had just returned from Sun Valley, Idaho, where Walt was in charge of the Idaho Academy of Family Physicians' annual meeting because he was the president that year.  When I got word that my Dad had taken a turn for the worse, I had driven back early that morning.

Walt had found a ride back to Burley with another physician from Burley.  The 4-day meeting was scheduled to end that afternoon.

After my Dad was diagnosed with colon cancer in mid-August of 1981, he had four surgeries to cut the tumors out.  In late January at the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake, after Dr. Edwards did the fourth surgery (the first three were done by Dr. Ellingham in the Burley Hospital), he said: "The cancer is multiplying faster than we can cut it out.  

Here is a poem from page 217 of my Mom's Life Story that she found for Arnold on Father's Day 1980:       

For Father’s Day I found the perfect card for Arnold that described him to a “T.”  “My Husband…
Wherever he is, there are strong arms,
                    Firm steps, a freshly mowed lawn, work done . . .
                           There is whistling,
                                                Laughter at the dinner table,
                                                       Quiet fun,
                                             Wherever he is,
                                                    There is a favorite easy chair,
                                                        The spicy scent of after shave
                                                             And charcoaled steaks prepared just so …
                                              There is strength and comfort,
                                                     Tenderness and peace,
                                                             And all the warmth and love
                                                     A woman could know.”
My mother has now been reunited with my Daddy in heaven for one year and seven months after she passed away at age 93. She had been a widow for 31 years.

Below is their photo taken in one of those instant photo booths at the Jerome County Fair in September 1937, a few days before they eloped and were married in Hailey, Idaho.
Below is a photo from 1943 when Daddy was working in the shipyards in Long Beach, California.  The army wouldn't take him because he had flat feet, so he moved to California where he could help build ships for World War II.
Below is a photo in 1962 with Dad and Mom, my sister Janice, and me.  Daddy would have been 50 years old, Mom 42, Janice 13, and me 23.  Walt and I had been married one year and drove home from St. Louis between his 3rd and 4th years in medical school for a couple of weeks.

Daddy, we will love you forever!

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