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Death and Dying

I was up in the mountains of South Korea in Advanced Leadership Training.My training Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) came to me with a message from the Red Cross. He instructed me how I needed to respond. I contacted my unit. they patched me through to the Red Cross. The Red Cross informed me that my family was ill and I needed to come home. My adminestrator did not agree. He advised me if things were as bad as they sound I could not change things anyway. He instead extended me for two months in order for me to go before the promotion board for my Staff Sergeant packet. He wanted to extended me until he left country but he arranged for me to leave after I made a maximum score the first time out on the promotion board.

 It was difficult for me to leave this Command. I was really treated royally by this Colonel. I knew that God had placed me in the right place at the right time because as the Colonel's Equal Opportunity Officer I was able to help him keep a wholesome environment free from racial disharmony and sexual harrassment and keep him informed of any pending problems in his command. I am a trained seminar leader of marriage counsel, race relations, sexual harrassment and interpersonal communications and awareness. We had it all in our command; we also had good raporte.

When I stepped off the plane in Columbia, South Carolina, I knew that my Mother needed me. I had never seen her eyes so sad. For the first time I saw her aging. Her presona had been timeless. She act as if I was her last friend in this world.  I went home with her and then I realized the problem.. There is nothing like seeing it with your own eyes. My nephew, Mabel's younger son had been sent home from the Navy with multiplesclorsis, Daddy was sitting around and not saying a word. He sat in his rocking chair peeling dried skins off of his hard worked hands. Mama was trying to make sense but I knew better. The house was no longer home.

I contacted my other siblings. It was like blowing in the wind. Every  word I spoke fell on deaf ears. At least it seemed that way to me. I considered, of course, that they had their families to care for.I thought. Mama had told me when I was a child that her daddy said one of her children who did not have children would have to work hard to enter the kingdom of God.  I figure,  I had better get to work 'cause I don't want to miss out on Eternity.  I took on this awesome responsibility.

I checked into my assignment at Fort Jackson. Then I hired a sitter for my family. She reported to me daily. Mama was becoming more and more of a handful.  I was'nt with her to see her activities daily. My responsibilities were greater now that I had come from Korea as an Equal Opprtunity (EO) NCO and a promotion packet after only five years of active duty service. (Male NCO's with more time in service tend to be jealous of females who out rank them) The sitter would tuck them in for the night the take the last bus into town.

One morning I reported to duty and a message was waiting for me to get to my parents home immediately. I called and talked to the sitter. Mama had beaten my daddy shamelessly that night. I told her call an ambulance. I met them at the hospital.

 I was so panic the Sergeant Major had to drive me. I will NEVER forget SMG Spearman. We picked up mama first then went to the hospital... there is when I found out what happened to daddy. He had a heart attack. He had never hurt Mama.He loved her until the end. I don't think he knew she was hurting him. I don't think she knew either.

Mama lost it at the hospital:   She was afraid of doctors and picked up a scaffle from the doctor's tray and attempted to stab the doctor. The County Sheriff took her to the mental hospital. I was not allowed to see her until later. In the meantime I stayed at the hospital.  I learned that the pipe that smelled so good for as long as I can remember daddy had caused him to have clogged arteries (arterior sclerosis). He would not be coming home soon. A few weeks later daddy was taken to a nursing facility.

I arranged for my other nephew to stay with his brother until I could find a house large enough to accomodate all of us when they were well enough to come home.

 I could not yet see death riding. The only time I had dealt with death in the family was at five years old when daddy's mother died. Granny is another story.

I moved my nephew in with me,  hospital bed and all. Mama never left the mental hospital. I was torned between the nursing home, my home, where I had hired a live-in housekeeper to help me keep my nephew, the mental hospital and my primary obligation to the US Army.  Then there were those education programs (EO), special events  I needed to perform for other people and myself. At the time I did not realize I was working in God's vineyard building up His Kingdom.  One morning I was at the mental hospital to sign some insurance papers for mama the clerk hand me the phone.  It was my Commander from my Headquarters Company. When he ask me to report to him. I said,  "It's daddy, isn't it". He said that he could not discuss this on the phone.  I would have to report to him ASAP.

I left the hospital and reported to my Commander to hear what I already knew. He gave me someone to drive me to help me take care of the arrangements. My heart was so heavy. I had not given to much thought to when I would lose them. Daddy was seventyeight (78) years old.  The consolation I had is that I knew he was tired, and he always knew he would be going to be with the Lord.  I heard Him say so all the time when he was well. He would stand up and tell the church too! Oh yeah, we were always in church. He was a Baptist.  Mama would alway try to get daddy to join the African Methodist Episcopal Church, but he never changed. Mama did. To Pentecostal.

 I put daddy away in style, at his church and with his favorite songs. Then a brief shower came over the burial ground. (He was of Cherokee descent.) I knew he had crossed over, as Granny would say.

I spent time Loving Mama and my nephew.On her birthday I pretended I was the entire family. Mama's face was a mess of birthday cake. I waited with her though leukemia, and all the other emotional and mental problem she lived with.

After her burial I was sent back to Korea to a different unit and then to Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. I was ill treated in my last two units. I began crying at the drop of a pin. I gave up my career serving my country and came home to find out what was wrong with me. I was really sick. I tried to keep up with life without help, but I needed help. I signed in a facility and found out I was like mama. I could not let my life go out without a fight. A Wonderful doctor found the medication I needed and I could live a while. My Bible, Pray, rest and the good doctor pulled me through. I did not let any one know where I was until I felt comfortable with the new me. My sister Mabel located me upon my discharge. She was standing in the lobby of the hospital to tell me that my nephew had just died. God was right on time, I made arrangements for his memorial, and started my  new life as a Disabled American Veteran. 

 I report to the doctor for medication management and instructions on living with these diagnosis. Today I take care of my sister Mabel who is seventy seven years old and has diabeties, a broken ankle and hip and legally blind...And God is not through with me yet.I will be ready when He comes for me.

MY SOUL WILL NOT LOOK BACK AND WONDER HOW I GOT OVER...

GOD's MERCY AND HIS GRACE TO YOU TOO!!

Praise God Everyday My Friends
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Upload Date: 31/12/1969

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