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Circle of Life

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He would have been 58 on Sunday, but he died on early Saturday morning. I'm writing about my former brother in law, Paul. I say former because he, and Bruce's sister Michele, divorced at least ten years ago. I could probably count on one hand, maybe two, the times I saw Paul because they never lived near us, first in California, then in Minnesota. He was from a very large family, and the move to Minnesota allowed their daughter the chance to grow up with loads, and I mean loads, of cousins. Paul had advanced bladder, and prostate cancer, yet he died a lucky man surrounded by a love.

I say that because today's post is really about their daughter Mallory. Paul was lucky enough to have his 20 year old daughter move in with him to care for him along with hospice. I just had to mention hospice care because, as you know, I'm a big proponent of the movement. At any rate, here's what I know about Mallory's story.

As is often the case, young people can be influenced to make poor decisions by peers. Mallory is one of thousands of young people who make the mistake of trying crystal meth. To summarize, she went downhill pretty quickly, stealing, running away from home with no contact with her family for what must have seemed like ages. Naturally, Michele and Paul were beside themselves. It got very messy, and that's all you need to know.

Praise be to God, she came home, cleaned up her life, finished high school, and went to cosmetology school finishing in the top of her class. When we saw her last, she was so bubbly, and pretty. We are so proud of her accomplishments and her care of her dad is just the latest. Six months time for a young person can feel like a lifetime and I applaud her for what she's done.

Originally I wrote an account, but I think I'll share the e-mail from Michele:

"I won't go into the details of all the things she did for her dad in his last week. I also know she is not the only daughter that has gone the extra mile for a dying parent, but she is surely the latest one most of us know that has done so ~~ and I have a greater appreciation for those others daughters that have done it. (Gail, this especially means you.)

Mallory and Paul went to California and had a wonderful week the first week of June. In the next two weeks he went to the horse races and taught Mallory how to bet, went to Twins baseball games, went to dinner for Fathers Day.

Then, Paul took a very fast downhill one week spiral. Just Wednesday he was taken to a beautiful hospice center on Twin Lake. He barely opened his eyes while there, I hope he realized the beautiful view he had. I cannot emphasize what a God send the center was. On the 4th his entire family was there, along with my Mom, and me. That evening there were fireworks over the lake, I hope he saw them through his minds eye. I am confident he knew that Mallory had stayed at the hospice center with him and that she had kissed his cheek within the hour of him slipping over to the other side at sunrise on Saturday the 5th. When I die, I should be so lucky."

So, for every parent who thinks a young person has gone too far astray to come back, there is hope. The circle of life continues. I thank God every day that our four sons never went too far off the track we hoped they would run.

Listening to: Tracey Thorn - A-Z
via FoxyTunes
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