My father-in-law passed away last night. He was 94 years old and went to bed with his 96 year old wife and didn't wake up. I can't think of a better way to go, can you?
He was a tough old bird. Right to the end. He got dressed every day of his life - no lying in bed for him. Just last week he told his wife he would get something down for her that required getting up on a chair! My husband assured him that he would be happy to do that for him.
He was a doctor. He was a founding physician of nuclear medicine. We have a magazine with his face on the cover. We can thank him for some of our cancer treatments. When we packed him up a few years ago, for their last down-sizing, his daughter and I had to find a place for three doctor bags. You remember those, don't you? Maybe not, it's been many years since doctors made house calls. He was the kind of doctor that stayed in the hospital all night if one of his patients was dying. A rare breed. A man from very humble beginnings. He remembers only one chair in his Kentucky home as a child. They all shared that chair. Feelings of hunger, I'm sure. Can you imagine what it took to not only go to college, but medical school?
We are not sad for him. He had a life well-lived. He was an honorable man, and he never had to leave his wife, something he disliked, even for short periods.
He had a near-death-experience, I think, a year or so ago. One of the few hospitalizations he had to have, a blood transfusion, and he and his wife both woke and had the "feeling" of the other beside them in the bed. They both knew they were awake and not dreaming. But the same feeling, at the same time. He in his hospital bed, she in their bed at home. He was different after that. More loving and warm, considering the fact he was born in an era where you did not show such feelings. He told family he loved them. Something he had not done before. He wanted to hold our grandson, he smiled more.
So here's to a life well-lived, and a much deserved rest. God speed, Kearney!