Thursday, December 31, 2009

What's Happening

"Death is better, a milder fate than tyranny." ~ Aeschylus

Ok. So here's what's been happening:

Those of my readers who have been reading this blog long enough may remember I have written about my Father-in-law a couple of times. If you haven't, you may read the first piece I wrote about him here.

Well, on Monday, December 21, CPO Robert (Doc) Johnson took his final voyage, and is now resting in the loving arms of his Heavenly Father.

My wife had just returned home from a doctor's visit, and found him on the floor of his bedroom. Apparently, he had fallen either getting into bed or getting out. Her friend and her got him back up on his bed whereupon he complained of having difficulty breathing. he then stopped breathing. My wife's friend administered CPR, and was able to bring him back temporarily, but he passed out again. The paramedics arrived, continued to administer CPR, placed him into the ambulance, but he was dead upon arrival at the hospital. He had suffered a cardiac arrest and went quickly, apparently with little or no suffering.

We celebrated Christmas but it was understandably subdued. His absence diminished the usual joy of the celebration, but we soldiered on. We felt he would have wanted it that way.

My wife asked me to write his obituary, which I did, and it was a very nice one, although I feel I didn't do him justice. The funeral home informed us that the local newspaper charged a fee for every line printed in the paper, so I had to edit the obit even further to meet budget.

That seems a little bit unfair to me. I wrote the obituary. Seems to me, if there is a fee for printing it, they should pay me for writing an article for them. They have staff people they pay specifically to write obits. I know they don't demand payment from their staff for writing obituaries. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. It just seems wrong to me.

Anyway, the final draft seems a rather inglorious tribute to one who deserved so much better.

This is the original obit I wrote:

Robert Pierce (Doc) Johnson

On Monday, December 21, Robert Pierce (Doc) Johnson went home and is now resting peacefully in the loving arms of his Heavenly Father. He was 87.

Doc was born November 3, 1922 in Fredericksburg, Virginia, the ninth of twelve children, to Philip Edward Johnson and Lillian Sullivan Johnson. He grew up in Chatham Heights, and was a lifetime resident of Fredericksburg.

He joined the Navy on his 17th birthday and served gallantly in World War II, surviving the sinking of his ship, the USS Colhoun, off the coast of Guadalcanal. He served 20 years in the Navy as a Chief Petty Officer, and upon retirement, worked another 22 years at Dahlgren Naval Surface Warfare Center as a supervisor in the ordnance department and eventually retired at the Shell house. He then worked at the Fredericksburg Auto Auction for an additional 18 years, retiring finally at the age of 80.

Doc was preceded in death by his loving wife of 58 years, Virginia Howard Johnson, and by his brothers, Sidney, Larry, Melvin, Woodrow, Eugene, Samuel, Leonard, Edward,, and his sister, Elizabeth J. Weisner.

He is survived by his precious daughter, Patricia Anne Johnson ******, her husband Mark of Fredericksburg, and two brothers, James Johnson of Monterey, Virginia and William Johnson of Fredericksburg. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Virgie Howard, brother-in-law Carlton Howard, numerous nieces and nephews, and his 5 constant companions, dogs Holley, Suzie, Katie, Cody, and cat, Muffy.

Doc is also survived by his “special” daughter Stacy Lynch Muehlhauser, who cared for him with love and compassion.

Mr. Johnson’s life was defined by his unshakable faith in God, unconditional love for his family, and undying devotion to his country. He once said of his service in the Navy, “We weren’t special. We were just doing our job”, an attitude that in itself, made him a very special man indeed.

He will be missed by all who knew him, but we are comforted by the knowledge that he will celebrate Christmas forever with his wife, siblings and parents.

Then there were the usual announcements of time and place for the viewing and the funeral.

On Tuesday this week we had the wake. But before the wake, my wife and I had to begin packing and moving from our senior citizen's community apartment into her father's house. We will be living there from now until we decide what we will do with it later.

Just 3 hours before the scheduled viewing time, while walking out of the house to grab another item off the truck, I apparently stepped onto the edge of the step, felt my ankle roll, and tumbled to the ground. I suffered a severe sprain to my right ankle.

Too late to go to the emergency room and still be on time for the wake, my wife wrapped my ankle with an Ace bandage, and I attended the wake, and subsequently, the next day's funeral, on crutches.

I am still in severe pain. There has been no time to see a doctor. I am hoping the ankle will heal well enough that I will be able to return to work after my bereavement leave is up. Fortunately, I was already scheduled for the next two days off immediately after the bereavement leave, so that will give me a couple of more days to mend. At this point, I feel like I may never get better. It's frustrating.

In the meantime, we have to be vacated from our apartment by the 31st, and I cannot walk. I can't do anything to help in the moving process, so hopefully, the two friends we have who have volunteered to help us move will be able to complete the task for me.

I really hate to have to let others do the job I'm supposed to do, but I am incapacitated at this point.

So, as one can see, I've been a little busy lately, and haven't had much time to blog.

Not that I would have written anything anyway. There is only so many ways and times that I can express my outrage at the direction Obama is leading this country. I feel that anything else I have to say would be redundant. Everyday is the same. Obama appears on TV everyday, and announces in the most innocuous terms that he is going to make yet another power grab or yet another conciliatory gesture to our enemies.

It has become expected. The death of democracy in America has become mundane. There's nothing I alone can do. It will take a concerted effort, or even a revolution to stop this spiral into fascism.

All I can do is watch.

Rush Limbaugh was admitted to the hospital with severe chest pains, and the Liberals are peeing their pants with glee.

If I hear another Liberal tell me how compassionate and caring Liberals are, he'd better be able to outrun me.


Joe said...

Well, in your present state the lib will probably be able to outrun you.

Be that as it may, I have been reading those compassionate liberals' comments about Rush's hospitalization. They range from things like: "Hell is ready for him." "I have no more compassion for Limbaugh than anyone should've had for Josef Goebbels..." and such.

It was a liberal who wrote, "What the world needs now is love, sweet love..."

What unmmittigated hypocrits.

I trust 2010 will be a great year for you.

Lone Ranger said...

You need to see a doctor. Your ankle is probably broken and if you don't do something about it, it will heal wrong and you will have pain for the rest of your life. Happened to me.

LoneWolfArcher said...

Mark, beautifully written obit. Very well done.

Get the ankle looked at! If it is broken you could go into shock.

Keep up the good work!

Timothy said...

Hi Mark,
Sorry to hear about your father in-law. I'm glad he went on to be with the LORD without a lot of suffering. That was a blessings. Our prayers are with you and the family.


Krystal said...

I am very sorry for the loss of your father-in-law. Please tell your wife, I'm thinking of her.

Jim O said...

My sympathies to you and your family.
And ... what LR said.

Most Rev. Gregori said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your wife. I am also praying for your speedy recovery, and I do mean speedy.

If that ankle isn't healed before Obama signs the Socialist Health Care into Law, on your next visit to a doctor, you will receive a letter from Obama telling you to take a bill for the pain and he will also give you a list of places to go for end of life counseling.