was 93 years old his circulatory system failed. We could tell there
was a marked change in Daddy; as his brain became deprived of oxygen
he suffered a loss of memory. It was the saddest recollection of my
life; within a matter of weeks, his great brain ceased its greatness.
The following will endure in my memory forever: one afternoon I walked
into Daddys bedroom; he was dressed, reclining on his pillow,
wide awake. He smiled at me and said, Hello, young man, come
on in. He looked at me carefully and said, You know I
have a son about your age. Then he asked, Do you have
any children? I replied, Yes, Father, I have three.
He beamed at me and said, Isnt that interesting? My son
Bill also has three children. He asked me where I was from and
I said California. Why, I have a son who lives in California,
and you cant imagine what a nice son he is.
When Dad said that, it tore my heart out. Here, in his failing moments,
he spoke so well of me. He always related well to strangers and I
was no exception at that moment.
Then came the miracle. On the advice of a friend I obtained a canister
of oxygen; after about two minutes of receiving oxygen through a little
breathing tube Dads memory was restored instantly and completely.
He looked at me and said, Well, Bill, how are you? Its
nice to see you. Did you bring your family? He was seeing me
as if for the first time, although I had been talking to him moments
before, as a stranger.
After that, for several weeks my sister and mother gave Daddy oxygen
from the large canister I had purchased. I went back to California
and learned later that when the oxygen tank was depleted they discontinued
the treatment since it was no longer effective. A few months later,
Daddy entered a retirement home where he could be better supervised.
There, in a matter of months, he died a sad death. The exact cause
of death was suffocation. This, my first close encounter with death,
leaves me sad and unhappy thinking about my great loss.