Today is kind of a sad day here for me. 9 years ago today, June 17th, my father passed away. Oddly enough, 9 years ago, June 17th fell on Father's Day.
In hindsight, his death was very rapid between his diagnosis and his actual passing. Seven days to be exact. Technically there was no medical/biological reason that he passed so quickly. The doctors had said that with chemo and radiation he would have about 9-12 months. He had 2 treatments of radiation and his tumor was shrinking and he was doing well until.....the doctor told him that he would be able to go home once my mom, his wife of 45 years, was trained in how to give him oxygen and other life sustaining treatments. My mom was panicked by this and I know my dad loved my mom so much that he willed himself to die so he did not have to burden her with those concerns.
My dad had a notepad in the hospital on which he wrote a long and detailed list of things that needed to be done before his death. Tops on those lists were for Marc and me to locate the financial records detailing their insurance policies, and all their investments. He also contacted his civic committee's on which he belonged and notified them of his impending death. He left nothing un-done or hanging. Once he had completed his list, which was the day before Father's Day, he informed all of us that he would be dying...NOW!
Being the type A personality and stubborn/determined man that he was, he did indeed die within 24 hours. On the morning of his death, one of the resident doctors who had come to enjoy my father during those 7 days in the hospital, came in to visit him. Remember it was Father's Day morning and this young doctor had brought my Dad the book, Tuesday's With Maury since he felt that my dad had become his 'Maury'. He was a suprised as the rest of us that my dad was dying as there was no medical reason for his imminent death. Simply put, my dad died out of love for his wife, my mother. I feel lucky to have witnessed this last act of consideration, love and unselfishness. My dad was a wonderful, giving, man who embraced charitable deeds and sought to make a lasting impression in this world.
To you my dear father, Charles Heckman, I hope to make you proud each and everyday. You have left a legacy not only with our family, but on the State of Oregon, the city of Beaverton, and the County of Yamhill. It's pouring down rain right now in bibilical porportions and I know they are indeed, tears of heaven.
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