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ksiegel
09-03-2011, 06:29 PM
Well, I'm headed back to the Left Coast again.

I've spent the majority of the summer in Los Gatos, helping care for my Father-in-Law, following a debilitating stroke. And the stroke itself was after being diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung cancer.

My father-in-law gave me my first ukulele in November. Since then, I've acquired a couple more.While I was in California, we used the ukulele and singing as part of his speech therapy. The improvement during the first 3 week visit was amazing.

We went back to New York for 2 weeks, then back to California, and the deterioration was obvious. During those 3 weeks, I watched him grow progressively weaker, and more and more frustrated, as his communication skill degraded.

Until it was time to sing.

While he didn't get any better, he didn't stop trying to sing.

Two days after we left, he was hospitalized. he stayed at Good Samaritan for a week, then into a skilled nursing facility, from Thursday until Sunday Morning.

On Sunday, he passed away.

We got to say goodbye during our time out there, and learned how much music meant to him.

I'll be playing 3 songs for him at the memorial service, and I know I'll see him singing along, every time I close my eyes.


So if you don't see me around over the next couple of weeks, injecting my comments into otherwise serious discussions, you'll know where I'll be.

Aloha.

..- Kurt

Kanaka916
09-03-2011, 06:33 PM
Kurt, I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Take care of what's at hand, UU won't be going anywhere.

Gillian
09-03-2011, 07:21 PM
Hi, Kurt,

My condolences to you and your family.


Do you mind me asking what songs you are going to play?

mds725
09-03-2011, 07:22 PM
Kurt, I'm sorry for your loss. I'm sure the songs you play at the memorial service will provide comfort to you and all of your father-in-law's loved ones.

dkcrown
09-04-2011, 03:58 AM
Kurt, I'm sorry for your loss. But you enriched the last days of your Father-in-law's life and I'm sure the gift of song helped him through his final days.

roxhum
09-04-2011, 04:05 AM
Hi Kurt, condolences to you and your family. I was with both my parents the last week for my dad and months for my mom and I consider it a blessing to be able to spend that time with them and assist in there care. It makes the loss easier I think, for everyone.

fitncrafty
09-04-2011, 04:39 AM
Kurt (and Nancy) wishing you safe travels and best thoughts to feel at peace. Take care of yourselves and I will see you when you get back to 'the other coast' again...
Sorry for you loss, I know how much your father in law (and father) meant to you both...
Hugs
Carrie

gyosh
09-04-2011, 05:18 AM
Hi Nancy and Kurt, I'm truly sorry for your loss and my condolences go out to you and your family. Safe travels.

-Gary

TCK
09-04-2011, 08:47 AM
Bless up Kurt- so sorry to hear of your loss. Your commitment to be with your father in law on a separate coast surely meant the world to him, and your contribution to his memorial I am sure will most certainly be a fitting tribute to the man.
Reading your post hear about your situation have been a wonderful testament to the power of a tune, and inspired many of us.

Raygf
09-04-2011, 12:12 PM
Kurt, My condolences to you and your family.

ksiegel
09-04-2011, 05:35 PM
Hi, Kurt,

My condolences to you and your family.


Do you mind me asking what songs you are going to play?

Hi,Gillian.

I'll be singing Hey Good Lookin' - one of his favorites, The Garden Song, by David Mallet, because it makes me think of him and his gardening/fruit trees, and I'm stuck on the third - it needs to be Gospel. I was going to do Will The Circle Be Unbroken, until I realized just how damned depressing that song is! "I went back home/ Lord, Home was lonesome/missed my mother she was gone/all of my brothers & sisters crying/What a home so dad and alone."

Something a little brighter, in celebration would certainly be a better choice - that's why I'm leaning to I'll Fly Away.

My wife has encouraged me to go to the SJUC meeting on the 13th, so I'll see you then.

-Kurt

ksiegel
09-04-2011, 05:36 PM
Thanks, everyone, for your kind thoughts. It proves that UU is a community, not just a message board.

............ -Kurt

Gillian
09-05-2011, 08:38 AM
Hi,Gillian.

I'll be singing Hey Good Lookin' - one of his favorites, The Garden Song, by David Mallet, because it makes me think of him and his gardening/fruit trees, and I'm stuck on the third - it needs to be Gospel. I was going to do Will The Circle Be Unbroken, until I realized just how damned depressing that song is! "I went back home/ Lord, Home was lonesome/missed my mother she was gone/all of my brothers & sisters crying/What a home so dad and alone."

Something a little brighter, in celebration would certainly be a better choice - that's why I'm leaning to I'll Fly Away.

My wife has encouraged me to go to the SJUC meeting on the 13th, so I'll see you then.

-Kurt

It will be great to see you again. Did you bring your Sceptre?

I'm not into gospel stuff, but for a third gospel song, how about "When the Saints Go Marching In".There are a few verses that are kind of creepy, but you can leave them out and just play the happy ones.

joeybug
09-05-2011, 11:00 AM
Kurt,
My deepest condolences, prayers and sympathy for your family and yourself during this difficult time. I will keep you all close in my thoughts.

Stay safe

Joey

Ataraxia
09-05-2011, 11:54 AM
You have my condolences, and I'm very sorry to hear about your loss. I'm sure that if he were here today he would be happy to see you playing and very grateful for your performance at the service.

Take care and have a safe trip!

marymac
09-05-2011, 12:05 PM
So sorry to hear about your loss, but wow, what a blessing it was that you got to spend that time with him playing music. That's something you'll always remember when you think of him. Lots of good thoughts to you and your family this week - Mary

wolfybau
09-06-2011, 02:12 AM
that is a sweet story, so sorry for your loss :(

foxfair
09-06-2011, 02:37 AM
Music is good medicine, even lost a life but will heal alive's soul..... sorry about your lost but you've gained memory with part of his life, which is meant to something more important

Mason671
09-06-2011, 03:17 AM
Aloha Kurt,
I am sorry to hear of your Father-In-Law's passing. I humbly offer my sincere condolences to you and your family. It is truly a blessing that you were able to spend some quality time singing and playing the ukulele with him.

Mason671