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Old 04-01-2012, 06:57 PM   #1
Yooper
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I posted this picture about 4 years ago, in the "Show Us Your Drunk Photo" thread.



We were drinking homebrew (Mike is holding a Grolsch bottle of some amber ale of mine, I think) and playing horseshoes and things. I realize it is an amazingly unflattering picture of me but that was about five minutes before one of my friends and I started flashing body parts and I am NOT posting those!

My buddy Mike had a couple of minor oral cancers removed over the years (a former chewing tobacco guy) but last summer he couldn't swallow and ended up being diagnosed with an aggressive throat cancer. After radiation, chemotherapy, a tracheotomy, and a feeding tube, they found a few weeks ago that it didn't work. Mike is starting hospice care soon.

I've been thinking alot about Mike lately and our fun and crazy drinking times. I'm thinking of the books he's written and I've enjoyed (except when I was worried I'd show up as a character) and of the way he loves fried crappies. His BBQ, KC style, is to die for. His garden produced the catawba grapes for many of my wines. He LOVED my homebrew and most especially my "Fat Sam". He told me I'd win the Sam Adams competition, because my beer was always better than Sam Adams- his favorite beer. I got him to happily drink hoppy beers over the last few years and even a few stouts.

He lives about two hours away from me, so I don't see him much. But I'm going to see him in a few weeks to say goodbye. Life is just too short. And I have great memories of him as my friend. But I'm very sad.
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:15 PM   #2
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So Sorry you are losing a good friend.

 
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:07 PM   #3

We are getting to an age where more of our friends or family pass on, and our own mortality is perhaps more real. When folks like your friend go, its so sad, because its just too early, even though it happens more and more to us.

You, Mike and his family are in my thoughts and prayers.

 
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:57 PM   #4
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that is an awesome photo, yooper. showing great times had by all
I Feel for you completely, i've had a few friends in the past years pass on to the next life, and it is really hard to say goodbye. But i would rather say goodbye if i was given the chance then sit on the side lines and never saying my last words.
i'm sending encouragement your way as well as my thoughts and prayers to his family...
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Life is just too short. And I have great memories of him as my friend. But I'm very sad.
My sincere condolences Yooper.

I think, just like you posted here the good times must be remembered and celebrated by friends and family! Hard times will follow but for now celebrate the good memories, it helps in dealing with the days ahead.

Hospice is scary because it is the beginning of the end. If you have the opportunity to help out; I'm not sure how that works with non-family members. (sounds like you are very much family though). If possible try to help.

(I don't want to make this about me, just trying to give you an idea of why you helping with the hospice of your friend might help you and his family.)

When my father was in hospice the nurse who for realistic reasons couldn't stay with him 24/7 asked my brothers and sister to take turns being with Dad and helping out with the basic functions, medicine giving, hygene, colostomy bag. They took turns and then my big brother called and told me what was going on. I was in the Navy at the time immediately took leave and spent the last three weekswith Dad everyday. That's besides the point.

The nurse asked us to keep a log of medications given, discomfort.. whatever.

Me being a guy that finds some comfort in writing used the log as a testament of my dad's life and last few days, what he thought, his feelings, It was a deathbed life revealing episode. Told by my dad and recorded by me. Dad was a doctor and I admired him so very much for healing people during his 40 years of practice and told him so. He said to me it wasn't him, but God who had had worked through him. My dad was a very humble man. A portion of that text was quoted by my cousin during Dad's eulogy.

I apologize if I'm OT and making this about me. Just trying in my way to encourage you to be part of your friend's hospice.


You are truly in a position to be of great help and comfort in your friend's impending death and his family's recovery from their loss.

Sincerely,

Dan

 
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:31 PM   #6
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Thanks for the kind words, everybody.

Mike lives in a town a couple of hours away. It's not terribly far, but it's not easy to pop in, as there and back is pretty much an all-day trip.

His SO is not really a friend of mine, although we've socialized together just fine. She is hard to take as she's really always talking about how "important" she is. I know she's really going to need support "after". She has no family or friends, except for her loser son about 800 miles away. So I know I will have to be there for her, because I've loved Mike.

Bob introduced me to Mike, as Mike volunteered for Bob at work after Mike retired. (He's a retired nuclear engineer, and became a novella writer after retirement.) Mike retired very young, like in his late 40s, so he spent a lot of time hunting and fishing and tramping around the woods. He's a super nice guy, and I will miss him very much.
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:41 PM   #7
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Sounds like a tough situation Yoop. His SO and you didn't connect but you and your family did with Mike.

I think the hard road is ahead for both you and his wife. You trying to help and for her, sounds as the world is about to crumble.

I think you're a loving soul will come through very soon to SO.

I still believe you will be a very important factor in the healing process.

Dan

 
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:28 PM   #8
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Good luck to you Yoop. I know your faith will help you along, but it still won't be easy. I'll be saying a prayer for his comfort and a raise a glass to your strength on your visit.

 
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:05 PM   #9
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According to prognosis, how long does Mike have in hospice care? Is there a seed of an inkling of a chance for a miracle?
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Old 04-02-2012, 05:23 PM   #10
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Always focus on the good times.

My brother died in January of cancer. When I came home from his funeral, I had presents which turned out to be 48 bottles, a brewmaster's best red ale (to brew) and a magazine subscription. We named the beer spaz willy, and went back in to celebrate his 41st birthday about a month after he died, toasting spaz willy all night. I think I have 4 bottles of spaz willy left...

Make a beer to remember your friend, remember the good times, and celebrate life. Life is just too short to drink bad beer.
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