Thursday, March 26, 2009

Kearney


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!

14 comments:

Kathy's Klothesline said...

What a touching eulogy. I can only hope to be remembered so lovingly one day.

Natalie said...

Bless him. What a wonderful man.
I can only feel sad for his little wife who will miss him So much.
A lovely,lovely post.xx♥

Lori ann said...

What a beautiful heartfelt tribute, may he rest in peace. I think he would have loved your words very much.
great family photo~
xxlori

TheChicGeek said...

What a wonderful man and a wonderful life. I'm so very sorry for your loss. I'll keep you and yours in my prayers.

Hilary said...

I'm sorry for your family's loss but oh what a lovely tribute to your wonderful father-in-law. Just beautiful.

Star said...

Condolences to you! My father-in-law died last week too. He was 89 and much loved too. There is a picture of him on my Blog, smiling, which he often did. There is much to be learned from these old folk.
Blessings, Star

Jeninacide said...

Very nice post. Could our family look any dorkier in that picture though? Geeze!

I think it may also be worth mentioning that "the magazine" that his is on the cover of is TIME MAGAZINE! Lol.

XO

willow said...

I'm always fascinated by near death experiences!

Beautiful family photo!

Lovely tribute. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

California Girl said...

That is a well written thoughtful testament to your father in law. He sounds like a great guy! The poverty you refer to, I think our parents, those of us whose parents were coming of age during the depression, never got past it. It gave them a different perspective than the rest of us and that's probably why we're in such a mess today.

Hope you have a big hearty service and get together afterwards. I did for my folks and it was well worth it. My condolences to your family.

Lover of Life said...

Thanks, everyone!

Jo-Mama said...

My condolences to you who will miss him but admiration as well for someone who seems to have lived a wonderfully full life with people who loved him.

Reya Mellicker said...

What a wonderful tribute! And how true - that at the end of a long life well lived, death isn't a tragedy.

Such a peaceful, wonderful death he had - I agree with you, may it be that way for all of us.

Rest in peace Kearny! I'm sure he will.

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reeti said...

LETS NOT FEEL SORRY FOR SUCH A RICH AND FULFILLED LIFE THAT HE WAS BLESSED WITH,MAY GOD GRANT HIM ETERNAL PEACE.HIS FAMILY WILL SURELY GAIN COURAGE STRENGTH AND INSPIRATION FROM HIS GREAT DEEDS TOWARDS HUMANITY.MAY HIS SOUL REST PEACEFULLY ALWAYS.