Tuesday, December 29, 2009
A sad time
It has been subdued around here. I've been down with a severe respiratory bug. Then, on Sunday, my daughter came into my room teary eyed. The father of a friend of hers had just died. He had gone to the urgent medical care facility on the day after Thanksgiving and was transferred from there to a hospital in Dayton, and from there to the Cincinnati University hospital.
No one knew what was wrong. He had been exhibiting flu like symptoms and was dehydrated. Then, they diagnosed him with liver failure.
I know I was getting this through the filter of a 16 year old, but I am still stymied. Meg's friend is a senior this year. She won't have her father to watch her graduate and grow up. From now on, Thanksgiving and Christmas will have a bitter edge to it. I am also concerned as her mother is a teacher at a parochial school and he was an engineer at International Engine and Machine (I think that's what its called now...). Her older brother is still in college and I gasped thinking of all the expenses which will now have to be borne by a one income family.
This couple was unique and wonderful. My daughter loved them dearly. I didn't know him very well, I had only worked in the concession stand with him a couple of times. He and his wife, however, seemed to be very much in love, even though they had been married for 25 years.
I thought to myself that he looked ruddy, like someone who had uncontrolled high-blood pressure. I wanted to ask his wife about it, but decided not to as it was none of my business and also I'm not a doctor...I don't have training and I can tend to be a know-it-all. I wonder though, if I should have mentioned it. While the above is very true about me, it is also true that I have an almost sixth sense about things like this and have diagnosed things correctly more than once.
I don't really know what to do for this family. I am going to offer to the mother to make her, and her daughter, a comfort/memory lap quilt out of his clothing when she is ready to think about that. That's about the best I can do. We aren't close, even though Meg is very close to her daughter.
One good thing is that I commented to my husband about it and said that I was concerned about the impact it would have on their finances. Being in the hospital for that long is sure to make a huge dent on the budget and with all the expenses of the senior year and lopping off the major income would be difficult. My husband's comment was that he hoped they had life insurance. I said "sure, but how much? How much do we have?" He looked it up and said $700,000. I looked at him an snorted...how much would be left after paying funeral expenses, hospital bills, taxes etc.?
How much is it to replace a person? You can't. And my heart bleeds for this young woman.