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Monday, May 21, 2012

The Funeral

How I'll remember her…
My mother in law had severe asthma ever since I’ve been around. She was never one to let it slow her down much though, and it finally caught up to her last week.

She’s had a couple of near-miss attacks before, and after the last one the doc told her she probably wouldn’t survive the next. So she was at the #4 chicken house on Wednesday, where they keep one of the tractors. Even with them shut down since November, they’re still dusty and a little smelly. So combine that with the exertion of climbing a tractor, and it brought on The Big One.

The guy who’s been helping was nearby, but discovered her still wheezing and slumped over… but then she stopped breathing altogether. He did CPR and called 911, which was another black comedy of errors. For one thing, the tin roof blocks what meager cellphone signal we get there. For another, he forgot the street address (easy to do, I can’t ever remember it) and the dispatcher insisted on having one. Finally, they took directions… then the ambulance turned into the pasture and got stuck. So by the time they got her stabilized and at the hospital, it was far too late. Thus begun the tradition of calling the family together and having them on hand before disconnecting life support Thursday evening.

The wife has pretty much anchored everything and everyone the last few days, which means she hasn’t had time to really deal herself. The Boy and Snippet came down from Wisconsin, and Mr. Sunshine got off the road, and Big V is nearby anyway — so there was plenty of sturm und drang to go along with everything else. But in the end, it seems to have worked out. Snippet and the wife have reconciled, so maybe things will be a little more peaceful later on.

Anyway, I’m going to miss her. She was a good cook (especially for small army-quantities) and a great gardener. And how many people had a mother in law who’s maiden name was Alice Cooper?


  1. What a confluence of unfortunate factors. The interference from the roof is almost funny - though I'm sorry for her, and for your strife, Larry. My condolences.

  2. That... kind of blows me away about the dispatcher, although I can't say I'm surprised, either.

    My condolences.

  3. Thanks, guys.

    The house also has a tin roof, and everyone who wants to check their voicemail or make a call pretty much has to step outside right now. The wife's older sister is talking about paying for a DSL hookup so she can run her business without coming up to FAR Manor to scarf the wifi. (Not that I mind her doing that, I don't password it so guests can take care of things.)

  4. That's a bad set of confusions to pass away with. My condolences, Larry, to you and your wife and family.

  5. I'm so sorry, Larry - it sounds like you got lucky in the mother-in-law lottery. I lost an aunt to asthma and i have it myself - it's very scary stuff. Too bad she wasn't able to find the right combination of medications to manage it (i'm in the process of a wholesale rethinking of my meds). Thoughts and prayers with you and your wife.

  6. so sorry for this loss to you and your family.


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