Monday, December 14, 2009

Slip Sliding Away

Last Monday, my daughter-out-law's brother was stacking wood outside his home in Amherst, Massachusetts, in preparation for the big storm coming their way. The portable basketball hoop was in the way and as he tried to shift it, it toppled over. The backboard smashed into his face, breaking every bone except his lower jaw.

He got to the garage, where he'd left his cell phone, and called 911. Then, with great presence of mind, he staggered across the driveway and planted his broken face in a snowbank until help arrived.

Since he never lost consciousness, the hospital didn't admit him. Instead, the next day, his wife took him to a surgeon, one of two in the Boston area who specialize in facial reconstruction. They discussed various options, including removing his face, rebuilding the bones, and then stitching it back on. No biggie, said the doc. By February, no one will know there was ever anything wrong.

They set a surgery date for Friday.

This surgery was to be done on an overnight outpatient basis. Under this plan, following the 7-hour procedure, he would stay overnight to be released early the morning, with less than 24-hours of hospital stay.

At the time of surgery, the doctors decided to leave his facial skin in place and do all their work through his mouth. At some point during the surgery, they had to intubate him. He came through the surgery fine, but, due to the tube, was placed in intensive care and didn't go home.

He was doing fine, he was conscious, talking, he was fine, and then, early Sunday morning, following a pain shot, he stopped breathing. And, shortly after, stopped being a resident of this dimension.

He was 42 years old. He leaves a wife, two children, a mother, a father and three sisters. He was to have been my grandkid's guardian, should anything happen to Phinn and Harper's moms.

He leaves a man-sized hole in the universe, and one far larger in the hearts and lives of those around him.

God only knows, God makes his plan
The information's unavailable to the mortal man
We're working our jobs, collect our pay
Believe we're gliding down the highway
When in fact we're slip slidin' away.


33 comments:

  1. Some things are just so far beyond anything you could predict... There's nothing I can possibly say, but my heart goes out to you and your family.

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  2. You know I will keep them in my thoughts...weird, but I believe those of us who go through loss are here to help bear their pain in prayer and thought...

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  3. I don't know what to say. Sadness, such sadness. Sending my thoughts.

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  4. Jean, I am so sorry for this huge and tragic loss. Your family will be in my prayers.

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  5. My condolences to the whole family. It boggles the mind how life can change in an instant. My heart also goes out to you and your family.

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  6. what an incredibly tragic loss - sorry to hear about this - my warm thoughts are with you.

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  7. OMG, what a horrible happening. :( Seriously, way too much shitty stuff happens in this world.

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  8. What a painful post for you to write, and what a nice tribute to him. I am so sorry for the shocking loss to his family.

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  9. Jeanne, I am so sorry to hear this and send my love to you and your family. Such a tragic and sudden loss - I was not expecting the post to end this way, I guess in the same way that you weren't expecting to ever write a post that ended this way. Lots of Love x x

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  10. OMG! I'm speechless! I'm so heartbroken for his family, his loved ones and the life he will not get to live, the things he will not accomplish, the children he will not see grow up, the children who will not have a dad to be proud of them, well, I have to stop typing and get a kleenex. I am so sorry for this devastating loss to all who knew him.

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  11. I am so sorry to hear about this! I have had so many losses in my life that you would think I would have something decent to say, but all I can offer up are my thought and well wishes for you and his family.

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  12. I'm so sorry to hear this. Life can be so arbitrary and random, and unfair. My thoughts are with you.

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  13. Jeanne, I'm so sorry to hear this. My heart goes out to the family :(

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  14. What a terrible sequence of events, leading to a tragic death..My condolences to the family..

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  15. Oh no, I was so shocked to read this! The loss of a loved one is never something we're prepared for; even if we have faith and belief it's a difficult, difficult time. I'm so very sorry and send my thoughts and prayers to you and your whole extended family.

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  16. I'm speechless. I am so sorry for your loss and your family's loss, especially at this time of the year. Your family will be in my prayers.

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  17. Criminy! My dear, all of my very best to your entire family. I can only begin to imagine the shock you're all feeling, and I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  18. I'm so very sorry to hear this Jeanie. What a tragic accident.

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  19. I am so sorry darling.

    Sorry for your grandchildren and the wonderful uncle they had in their lives.

    I am just so sorry.

    Love Renee xoxoxo

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  20. Hi! You have very interesting blog!

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  21. My deepest sympathies to you and your family. This is a sad story and my thoughts and prayers go out to you all.

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  22. Oh Jeanne. I am so terribly sorry for your family's loss. What a tragic story. I will keep all of you in my prayers.

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  23. I'm absolutely speechless. I'm thinking of your family, sweets.

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  24. Incredible. What a tragedy. My sincere condolences.

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  25. What a horrible freak accident. Poor man. Life is tied by such a delicate thread.
    My condolences to his family and to you.

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  26. Oh my God. I'm so very very sorry.

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  27. Stacking wood..basket ball hoop stands..and a hospital..
    This was some sort of Freaky accident followed by a kind of freaky hospital stay..and then he died.. doesn't seem right..unbelievable. I am sorry Jeanne:(

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  28. A freak accident...absolutely tragic. My condolences and prayers to you and your family.

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  29. I am so truly sorry. My sincere condolences.

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  30. How awful. What a shock, and right at Christmas time. I'm so sorry for his family.

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  31. Oh, I'm so sorry! I kept expecting there to be some funny irony as I read, but to not admit him when every bone was broken? I'm especially sorry for his wife and kids to lose him when there could have been so much done to save him. My condolenses.

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  32. I know I am late to comment but I am very sorry for your loss. I have been so wrapped up in my troubles that I forgot about the rest of the world. I hope you had a nice Christmas with your family. The holidays aren't always the way we imagine they should be but I hope you are doing ok.

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