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Zorro

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Old Zorro - thoughts and such......
« on: June 16, 2007, 02:48:13 AM »
It's taken me a while to write about this man and even though he is not a "user" on here.....or on any website for that matter, I figured I'd sound off a bit about him.

My father is 89 years old and in very poor health, that is to say he will not get better and his forth coming death is imminent.

Let's go back in to the past a bit to my experiences with him and such. My father returned from the 2nd World War sufferng from PTSD (Post Traumautic Stress Disorder). He was very short tempered and extremely violent. I had been whipped by a leather strap for the slightest infraction (per the scene in Goodfellas when Henry's dad confronts him with the letter on his skipping school).

For the most part he was a good father though to my sister and I although I learned early on that if I made him laugh I was not beaten.

My dad was a body-fender man on cars....later on exclusively on trucks until he retired. In the early days of this trade these folks would also paint the cars they worked on. In those days you either tied a rag around your nose and mouth or wore a paper type of mask that did a poor job of ventilation. The paint that was used at that time was lead based enamel. Over the next 30 or so years my father was poisoned by this and it lead to nerve damage in his legs. He needed a walker to get around and/or a wheelchair in many cases.

In the past 4 months his circulation in his legs was dangerously limited leading to gangrene in his toes and now in both of his feet. His state is such that he is way too weak to be operated on now and the only thing they can do is to try to keep him as comfortable as they can until the end.

Several weeks ago my sister decided to give me for a birthday present, a round trip flight to Nashville,TN last weekend June 9th to the 12th to see my dad one last time.

The trip was something that I looked forward to and dreaded at the same time as I had not seen this part of my family for 3 years since they moved from Pompano Beach, FL.

I spent most of this past Tuesday, before I came back home, with my dad. Due to the meds they have him on he would at most times be in a fantasy world. Often times throughout the visits to the hospital he would tell stories about me, to me as if I was a stranger. This was both funny and depressing at the same time because some of these stories never happened.

I came back Tuesday night depressed, tired, and suffering the ordeal of only having my left ear "pop". So for the last 3 days my right ear leaves me with the sensation of decreased hearing and all noises sounding like my head is in a bucket.

I know I am rambling on, but it helps me cope with all that has happened in the last 6 days now.

My sister and I discussed what tasks need to be performed before, during, and after the funeral that is sure to be taking place. My father being an army vet, is entitled to a military funeral and that is something that I will have to arrange as it will be taking place down here in Fort Lauderdale as my mother was buried here in 1980.

Also I made it be known to my sister years ago that I wanted our dad's casket flag, but when I talked with her this past Tuesday afternoon, I requested that she hold on to it for me.

Finally let me finish this post this way.......when you are young..........say in your 30's or 40's you don't consider the future when it comes to your parent(s). Most of us feel it is something for "later" and that you have plenty of time to worry about it.

I am now in my 56th year and "later" is now........or at the very least "soon". My own health is in such a state as to be "fragile". I have severe **82** apnea, type 2 diabetes, and rhumatoid arthritis in my feet and ankles. None of these are particularly life threatening at this time, but it just makes you think of what I have to look forward to during the next 30 or so years.

In this forum I have read what has happened or happening to many of us on here and the reality of it all kicks in..........at least to me it does.

My dad has had a good long life and as this chapter closes another one begins.

When I was in TN I **84** in his place at my sister's and on his display case in his living room was a picture of my grandson. That brought tears to my eyes.


Thanks for reading this.
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solvegas

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Re: Old Zorro - thoughts and such......
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2007, 03:36:24 AM »
Thanks for sharing what is essentially a private matter. You certantily did not have to discuss this with us and the fact that you did is appreciated. In my family most of those who went thru the great deppression and world war two have now passed to a better place. My father is 82 and in good physical condition even though his feet are crap and can hardly walk. My mother suffered a stroke on 1/1/2000 and she is unable to speak and is wheelchair bound. My parents are divorced ( 36 years ago ) and were not in speaking terms for many years. Their conditions have at least put some bad blood behind them. I could not in good conciense put my mother in a nursing home, especially since she would be unable to communicate ( she understands fine. She can read and knows what's going on, she just can't talk. ) so I put her in one of my bedrooms and take care of her. Her Doctor has said that this has extended her life and my mother is happy knowing she hasn't been forgotten. I have to say that while I don't look forward to it, I'm prepared emotionally for their deaths. It's really hard to discuss final preparations with my siblings but it has been resolved. My grandparents mostly died in their **82** and frankly that is the only decent way to go. No fuzz and no suffering. Well Zorro, I hope and pray your dad doesn't suffer and when the time comes his last thought will be his family loves him and he did a good job while in this world. Best we can all hope actually. Vaya con Dios.

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KBTs

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Re: Old Zorro - thoughts and such......
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2007, 07:34:22 AM »
My best wishes go to you.  You are wise, and kind to share your wisdom built up through the maturity of life experience carefully reflected upon.

My Father lost most of his hearing first grinding aircraft internal wing fuel tanks with inadequate hearing protection and then under quad 40mm AA cannons in the Navy; he was a 4F farmboy who survived virtually every childhood disease you could get in the 1920s, but his heart was damaged (by rheumatic fever?) so he could only enter the ROTC, go to UCLA, and enter the Navy as an Officer in the Occupation Forces.  He remained strong and healthy until his misdiagnosed colon cancer was both poorly treated and metastasized to additional poor treatment leading ultimately to his earlier-than-expected death by brain damage during resucitation after a cardiac arrest in 2003.

My (non-smoking) Mother has just this week been diagnosed with very aggressive terminal non-small-cell lung cancer, and my sister and I are going to be doing our best to help her with dignity and comfort through the end of her life during the coming difficulties of what passes for chemotherapy at this point in the practice of Medicine, just as we helped Dad with his as best we could.

We all enjoyed as much as we could all the time he had, and hope to enjoy as much with Mom, too, though her path will be the more difficult in several ways.  My sister and I, too, see ourselves in our parents and our patents in us, and are honored to be their children now giving our final gifts of as much of ourselves as we can to them as they gave the first gifts of themselves to us these 46 and 49 years ago.  Their greatest tribute, and ours to them, is our lives well-lived due to the gifts they gave us before our own lives began, during our lives, and after theirs end.  Maturity and Wisdom are but two of these.

And I thank you for sharing those gifts, from you and your Father, with me.

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prinz

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Re: Old Zorro - thoughts and such......
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2007, 02:13:52 PM »
god speed to you blackshoe...Lost my Mom and Dad years ago..also a brother to skin cancer...It doesnt get any easier does it..regards PE

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Zorro

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Re: Old Zorro - In Memorium
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2007, 02:24:45 PM »
I was just informed this morning that my father passed away a few hours ago.  

"In Memory of an old soldier who did not die.....but only faded away"

 

Born September 21, 1917 --- Died June 30, 2007
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solvegas

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Re: Old Zorro - In Memorium
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2007, 02:30:53 PM »
My sincerest condolescens. Vaya con Dios.

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HamsterGal

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Re: Old Zorro - In Memorium
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2007, 03:15:41 PM »
I'm so, so sorry for your loss. He will always live on in your heart and your memories.

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AgentDee

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Re: Old Zorro - In Memorium
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2007, 11:49:26 PM »
woah, sorry to hear that Z, at least at 90 years old he had a nice long life.  My mom passed away at 57 years old.  my dad is only 59 and still very healthy (golfs and works out every other day).
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homevintner

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Re: Old Zorro - In Memorium
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2007, 03:21:23 AM »
My deepest condolences.
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BarnacleBill

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Re: Old Zorro - In Memorium
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2007, 05:24:26 AM »
My condolences, Zorro.  My mother passed away two years ago.  Her death reminded me to try to live my life in the best way I know how.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

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rtpoe

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Re: Old Zorro - In Memorium
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2007, 11:37:50 PM »
Requiescat in pace, Don Alejandro de la Vega....
rtpoe

Every year, in November, at the season that follows on the hour of the dead, the crowning and majestic hour of autumn, reverently I go to visit the chrysanthemums in the places where chance offers them to my sight.

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TheZookie007

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Re: Old Zorro - In Memorium
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2007, 09:18:08 PM »
Welcome to the sorry state of orphans and half-oprhans, Zorro. My deepest condolences to you on your loss, which I share with you, friend.
"When your city is French in origin, and your Mayor and Governor are Democrats, and those most affected by this natural disaster are Black, don't expect much help from Bush." -- Left of Y'all (and the link works now too! )

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pedonbio

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Re: Old Zorro - In Memorium
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2007, 06:15:01 AM »
Quote:

Welcome to the sorry state of orphans and half-oprhans, Zorro. My deepest condolences to you on your loss, which I share with you, friend.




Zookie, I never thought of it that way, but I guess there are a lot of us orphans among us geezers.
Someday, chi1dren, this entire fuck-up will be yours.

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Zorro

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Re: Old Zorro - Aftermath.....
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2007, 01:11:52 AM »
 
Quote:

 Requiescat in pace, Don Alejandro de la Vega.


 


Well the funeral is over......I call the whole business ....the viewing....the eulogies....and the ceremony at the graveside "the Ordeal".

Out of something saddening a bright new thing had happened.

My youngest son and I spent a lot of time together. From this past Tuesday until this morning (July 7th) bonding.

You see he was my "loner" and out of touch with everyone, unlike his older brother and younger sister.

Also, on the brighter side as well my 2nd grandson made his appearance the night before my dad died. So I gained a Zorro and lost a Zorro within 24 hours. The remarkable thing about it all is that this grandson has a permanent "pissed off look"....just like my dad.  

I am feeling pretty good now every now and then the tears come, but not like it was during the week.  

Finally I have no morphs this week.  

I just didn't have the time to spend in front of the computer as I usually do, but there will be a resuming of the work this weekend............now that I am alone again.

Also, I seem to have "clicked" with a very nice lady who works at the cemetary office. She is a hottie and even though it may seem morbid to be flirting and such, she actually responded to my comments very favorably. I am looking forward to seeing her again as she is also a neighbor!

So.....there you have it my past week of my "real" life.

I'd upload pictures from this week, but to tell you the truth even though I am not bothered by putting my own images on this site, I feel to put any of my family and/or acquaintances would be an invasion of their privacy.

The pictue of my dad in my previous post was taken about 60 years ago and there is no name attached.

 My name is not de La Vega either  

I want to take this time also to thank everyone for their words of encouragement and condolences as they helped me more than you could know.


Zorro  
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MasterDragonfly

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Re: Old Zorro - Aftermath.....
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2007, 04:04:16 AM »
Hi Zorro,

I first read this thread sometime in the latter half of June.  I didn't respond at the time because, well, I was optimistic.  I regret that my optimism wasn't self-fulfilling.    You have my condolences.

It was a little tough reading your most recent post in this thread, as it brought back some memories in a flash.  My own father's death (heart attack) was fairly unexpected, especially at the age of 55.  And nearly 18 years later, I still miss him dearly.  Most times the memories I have are lighthearted and fun, but occasionally it hits me a fair bit more deeply (like right now, for example).  So the bad news is that while it does gradually get easier over time, it never completely goes away.  The good news is, it never completely goes away.  I don't think I'd ever want it to, either.

I don't know that I can extrapolate from my experience and provide them to you and say "this is how it is, and how it will be", although I'll admit that I'm hoping there's more to it than everyone having completely unique and unrelated experiences.  Every year I pause to spend some time with him (so to speak), on his birthday, and on the anniversary of his death.  I don't mean that I go to visit his grave so much as light up a cigar (I don't smoke, and except for the rare cigar/pipe, neither did he), maybe have a drink, and I'll reminisce while telling cherri stories about him.

Anyway, I didn't mean to turn this into a 'me' thread.  I trust that you have many bittersweet memories of your dad to reflect on and will find your own way to remember him.  And it certainly sounds like you've also had a couple of rather unexpected yet positive outcomes.  

Master "cheers" Dragonfly