Sunday, May 9, 2010

Grampa prepares to say Goodbye

Bingen on The Rhine 
By Caroline Sheridan Norton (1808-1877) 
As quoted often by Big Mike Sullivan 
A soldier of the Legion lay dying in Algiers;
There was lack of women's nursing, 
   there was dearth of women's tears;  
But a comrade stood beside him, while his life-
   blood ebbed away;
And bent, with pitying glances, to hear what he 
   might say. 
The dying soldier faltered, as he took
   that comrade's hand,
And he said: "I never more shall see my own, 
   my native land:
Take a message and a token to some distant 
   friends of mine;
Heard in church that my great friend Big Mike Sullivan's
kidneys have shut down and it's only a matter of time!
I've been Mike's friend and Home Teacher for years.
His wife Carol and I visit regularly about Mike's
condition, out of his hearing. The good news is that
Mike is about to be liberated.  He's been on his back
since long before I've known him.  I frankly couldn't do it.
When the Elders gathered to paint his house last year
I brought my digital camera and gave him a visual 
progress report.  It was the first time in a long 
time that he had seen the outside of his house.
Mike loved motorcycles and sustained a broken back when
he flipped over his handle bars after a sideways
collision with a semi-truck more than a decade ago.
He lost the use of his legs.  His arms still work 
after a fashion.
Today when I visited Mike with two of his friends, 
they helped Mike's wife Carol shift his ample body back
up the bed.  It gave me a hint of what the ressurection
could be like:  Two priesthood men raising a man to 
higher heights.  (Mike has a bed that undulates a little
and most days Carol, little Carol has to make do by 
Carol has mixed emotions.  On one hand she hates to lose
his companionship.  On the other hand she knows that his
suffering will soon be at an end.
It's no surprise that Mike is a wonderful man.  He's
loved poetry and history and enjoys visitors.
Funny thing about that.
When folks drop by to cheer him up, Mike ALWAYS cheers
THEM up.  He quotes poetry, tells stories, and oh, the
hilarious jokes.
When a man has nothing but his brain, his face and his
voice that works, he does like Big Mike and uses them
to everyone's best advantage.  I'll miss him.  But he'll
be likely riding his Harley in heaven and loving every
minute of it.  JRH 

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