To my many friends and relatives;
After Sue’s death on June 17, I was staggered, sad and lonely, I was also angry because Sue died of complications from Parkinson’s disease. I felt then and feel more now that we Americans have let ourselves down by not challenging the research community- and our government - to fund more research, find more research scientists and take more care of people than military machines. Parkinson’s disease treatments haven’t changed since the 1960’s.
As we age we’ll all face more encounters with diseases that used to be rare like Parkinson’s disease. But they don’t need to be incurable. That is a challenge for all of us. Challenge our leaders to get with the territory and fund more medical research and fewer bombs. Sue and I were together for most of our adult lives, and its almost surreal she is now not with her family and me.
When Sue was dying I also knew that brother Craig had an incurable diseases - ALS is a disease of the nervous system that was first found when Lou Gehrig, Yankee first baseman, died of the disease in 1940.
Craig’s death was arduous and difficult. He couldn’t talk, swallow or breathe as the end came. Yet he had the mental capacity to tell us where Thomas Dewey, the Republican candidate for president in 1948 was born.
Craig was my little brother and I remember his birth as though it were yesterday. But because we were 11 + years different in ages, we didn’t spend a lot of time together as we aged. We managed a Christmas party each year and often togetherness at Chautauqua in the summer too. During the covid lockdown Craig, Bruce and I had regular conference calls to see how we were all managing. But we were a close family and his death, on top of Suzanne’s, knocked me for a further loop.
To all that have sent cards, made contributions to charities, and just been good friends when another is in need, I can say, only, thank you.
Sue Tarpley put pictures of a small chapel in North Carolina on her Facebook page this morning. The picture following my name on Facebook is from the new Coventry Cathedral built after the German’s bombed the old cathedral in 1940. When my Mother was dying in Holland, MI I was in Coventry consulting for a British company. I had a couple of hours and went to the Cathedral and just sat there among the Bible verses that mean so much in one’s day of sorrow.
Then I went to the noon mass said every Friday - the day on which the bombs came. That place and that occasion is what I always resort too when I’m sad and lonely.
Thank you all who shared your condolences with my family and me as we faced Sue’s loss and now Craig’s. It continues to be really hard, but good friends help settle the loss.