About Dad

I’ve been thinking about my dad here lately. He passed away when he was 62. Died in his sleep. When I go I hope I do the same. It seems a rather pleasant way to die. Go to sleep and never wake up again.

Mom died after 3 days of suffering a debilitating stroke. She and Richard Nixon got the same type of stroke on the same day. They tried to save his life, mom just suffered. She did a lot of babbling in mostly incoherent mish mash of words. A lot of names, some I knew, most I didn’t.

On the 3rd day the doctors felt she was real close to passing and they asked us if we wanted to perform any life saving procedures. Mom had written out a DNR and a living will. She had given my little sister, Judy, power of attorney should she become incapacitated. You know, even with that DNR and the living will stating that no heroic measures were to be taken, the doctors still asked her what they wanted us to do. Judy then asked me to decide. I went with her wishes. Mom really hated Richard Nixon.

Anyway, back to dad. I think that when he died he really didn’t need to go. I mean, his health was bad, but not bad enough for that to be the reason he died. I think he made a conscious decision that he no longer wished to be a burden on his family. For him, he could no longer be the man of the house. He could no longer provide for his family. He was no longer of use and couldn’t do what was expected of him as a man, a father and a husband.

You see, he came from a world where the roles were defined. There was no gray area, even though he was surrounded by it. As a man, a father, a husband, he was expected to do his duty. He was the provider of the family. You just did it, no questions asked.

At the time of his death he had been on oxygen for 6 years, unable to work and provide for his family. He was getting social security and I think he got a small pension.For him, he had become what he apparently dreaded the most: a burden on his children.

We kids didn’t mind taking care of him. After all, he had raised us kids. Powdered our butts, picked us up when we fell, disciplined us…well, ok, he didn’t. But that is a story for another day. But he never saw it that way. And so he went peacefully.

My dad delivered newspapers from the time he was 13 years old up to his retirement at 56.

Well, time for bed. From time to time I will muse some more on thoughts about my dad.

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Author: Rich Garling

Successful results-driven experience in IT program/project management, focusing on collaborating with multiple businesses and IT workstreams to define detailed business process requirements into workable enterprise software solutions for retail, finance, pharmaceutical, and inventory processes. A successful proven track record in leading cross-functional international teams of project managers while managing expectations and delivering projects of greater than $10M within stakeholder expectations. Provided an in-depth knowledge of SDLC using Agile and Waterfall project management methodologies (Scrum Master (SMC)), MS IT Management/Project Management (AMU)), and a talent for developing business requirements delivering workable technology solutions. Rich holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Northern Illinois University and a Master of Science in Information Technology/Project Management from American Military University. He is currently a Project Manager III for Bradford Hammacher Group in Niles, IL/