Just Shelley

With thanks

I wanted to thank all of you for your kind comments in the last post, and in emails and in posts in other weblogs. They meant a lot to me, particularly just after Dad’s death when I was trying to work this through. I am still working this through, and will for time to come; but I wanted to share a couple of positive memories with you, including some humorous items because we Irish, we’re always up for a giggle at a Wake.

The nursing and other staff members at Bell Trace, the retirement community where Dad ended his days, was marvelous during the last few days. They moved Dad’s roommate into another room so we could stay with Dad 24 hours a day. And they also kept bringing us food, such as the 3am tray one of the attendents provide that had a bag of crackers and cheese and cookies, with lemon pie served that day to go with coffee and juice. In the midwest, comfort is provided by food and the staff was determined we were going to eat and drink well during this time. Several also visited individually to tell Mike and I how much they respected the decisions we made; to provide hugs, and quiet chats, as we were dealing with individual events. They were incredibly kind and caring.

One of the nurses, Sharon, was there throughout most of the weekend and when I met her, she asked what Dad did for a living. I said that he had served in WW II and had been a cop most of his life. She replied, “Well that explains it. When he first arrived here, I asked him what he did, and he said that he did nothing. When I asked him what he did before he retired, he said that he …killed Germans.”

In the end Dad spent most of his time in World War II, and he always was a very frank and rather literal person. Still, the look on Sharon’s face as she recounted what he said was priceless.

As priceless as the look on folks face when they read what my brother wrote for the obituary in the newspaper:

He retired in 1975 as a fraud investigator for the State of Washington. Prior to that, he worked in positions that served his community, state, and country, including: Washington State Patrol officer, County Deputy Sheriff, South Viet Nam Police Advisor (and secret agent), and Captain and paratrooper in the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division in World War II.

emphasis mine

Again, my thanks to you all.

outdoors Photography Places

A day in the park

I decided to hold off on Ozark trips until next week when the weather will hopefully be a little clearer. I also wasn’t up for a 4+ car ride, having done too many of these lately. Instead, yesterday I spent time at the Sculpture Park, playing around with my new camera.

I feel remarkably free with the D70, and had a great deal of enjoyment ‘experimenting’ with different angles and lighting and color and views. The fall colors still aren’t very advanced in St. Louis, but I managed to pick up some. And a few self-portraits, as well as other odds and ends.

“Portrait of Author I”

“Now those are big balls”


“Golden Leaves”

I particularly liked this one, and I don’t know why. I think it was the shallow clear water reflecting the sky and trees above the creek, and forming an overlay among the rocks. And if you look close, I swear there are little people’s faces reflected in the rocks.

Did I happen to mention that I have long legs?

“Portrait of Author II”

Just Shelley


Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

My father will die today or tomorrow. All that made him what he was died yesterday so for me, he’s dead already and is just waiting for his tired, old body to catch up.

Dad held on to life tenaciously; too tenaciously, as his ending has been neither quick nor without emotional and physical difficulties. My brother and I had to make some very tough decisions, and I have no doubts they’ll come back to haunt us as in the future; they did during the drive home today.

I’ve been by Dad’s side since Friday, only getting sleep Saturday when I came back to St. Louis for a break in the evening and then headed back to Indiana Sunday morning. I knew I was reaching my limit last night, and this morning was told to leave and get sleep by several of the very caring nursing home staff. So, with a prearranged agreement with my brother, I came home, and I won’t be there for my Dad’s last breath; I specifically didn’t want to be. If that makes me selfish, so be it. I shared what was important with Dad yesterday.

I’ve had to let a great deal of work slide this week, and will get back to the sites I’m designing, and the IT Kitchen in a few days. Especially the IT Kitchen–the date for this remains the same, and I plan on doing even more aggressive recruiting next week.

But for the next few days I’m going to take some time, head into the hills, alone, with my new camera.

Dad’s body caught up with his spirit this afternoon.