Change of life in an instant

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Best Homes Hawaii RB-13537

Did you ever have a "change of life in an instant"?  This happened to our family yesterday! Do you ever have a particular day planned out with the ideal of accomplishing several tasks that have been lingering?

While preparing for the day from the list of tasks to do for the day that are imperative to accomplish, I received an early call from my brother.  In the past, he hardly calls unless there's a family urgency and it was. He said that he and my niece were helping my father to the car for his regular checkup.  Dad said "I feel dizzy" and he passed out immediately.  Mom called 911 and Lucky they knew CPR, so they worked on him until the ambulance had arrived.  Mom said he had a restless sleep and in pain from his recent second broken hip.

From their home to the hospital, the paramedics had to revive his heart to pumping several times.  Then at the hospital, he was put on life support.  Later yesterday afternoon, my brother and oldest sister called for a family conference.  The doctors said he had no brain activity and was considered "Brain Dead".  It would be mom's final decision, but they wanted to know if I felt it ok to "pull the plug".  I said "yes".  A couple of hours later, my brother called and said "he has passed on".Eugene Hicks and 1928 Chevrolet

Just this past Monday, I had phoned mom and dad to say hello.  Mom answered and after a bit of hello's, dad came on the phone.  He sounded ok, but I sensed he was on some kind of drugs, because his speech was a bit slurred.  He said he had sold his 1928 Chevy convertible that had been recently fully restored to museum quality, in order to cover some of the mounting medical bills.  We talked about his health, hows the family doing, basically small talk, but he did interject and say to me "Bruce, I'm ready to go" and I knew what he meant.  He had made his peace with the Lord.

I am 5,000 miles away and will not be able to attend the funeral today and the burial is tomorrow. My family understands that we cannot be there.  Flights are booked with back to school people. I am glad that I DID get to talk to him.  Neither one of us would have expected that it would be the last call.  You never want to think of the worst and it hurts when it is a close relative, but for him, now he no longer suffers.

He had diabetes, broke two hips in the past 6 months, had a quad heart bypass in the past 4 years, so he has had a hard time of it.

Eugene Hicks circa 1948< circa 1945-1950) photo of dad with mom's name on the bumper - AVA.  The good things I remember is when we were growing up.  He was a long route truck driver and would be at home on the weekends mostly. Our family was simple middle class.  Dad was well known in town and some friends with kind words have said he was "a sweet man".  Many said "If he liked you, he would bend over backwards to help you in whatever humble way possible or give assistance."  "He could make you laugh!"  He was strict with his 4 children but he loved us all and loved his wife (our mom).  Through out his entire life, he was an automobile affectionado with hundreds of trophies, best of the show etc.  He restored a 1950 Ford F150 and it appeared in Life Magazine on the 50th anniversary of Ford F-150.  Eugene Hicks favorite craft was remodeling old cars and trucks.  

How will it change my life?  His had a purpose and I want him to be proud.  The Change of Life in an Instant?  

It happens to many of us.  How do you prioritize daily your life?  Is it all about work work work or do you take time out for family? 

Now that he is gone, I wish I could have talked more, asked more, done more, said more, spent more time with him.  There will be a missing spot.  My wife and he got along together well.  She called him her "talking buddy".  Yes....I know.... we must move on, life continues.  There are thousands of human beings that pass on daily. To the rest of the world, this is just another BLURP on the screen, but to us, this has been HUGE.  

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Rainer
126,298
Brian Rayl
Home Value Leads - Highland Park, TX
Active Agent and Co-founder Of Home Value Leads

Wow, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your father Bruce. Prayers for you and your family during this difficult time. I know that not being able to be there for them makes it even more difficult emotionally for you. Your dad seemed like a great father and knew that it was his time and was ready. He is now at peace. 

Jan 09, 2013 10:58 PM #1
Rainmaker
674,422
Bill Reddington
Re/max By The Sea - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

Sorry to hear about the loss of your father. I can relate as my mother died about a month ago. Think of the happy memories. You are right. Life can change in an instance.

Jan 09, 2013 11:15 PM #2
Rainmaker
3,824,561
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Oh Bruce, I am so very sorry for your loss. We never do know what the day will bring and so it is important to make the most of our time. Keeping you in my thoughts.

Jan 09, 2013 11:17 PM #3
Rainmaker
491,341
Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Lifetime Friend/Helper!

Thanks for your comments everyone.  Thank you Brian for your kind words.  Bill, I can feel for you.  We never want it to happen but it does.

Jan 09, 2013 11:18 PM #4
Ambassador
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Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Bruce, If your father could have read this post, he would be very proud of you. Take care of yourself and know there are many people who are thinking of you and your family right now.

Jan 09, 2013 11:20 PM #5
Rainer
51,353
Julie Bethel
RE/MAX First Choice - Park Rapids, MN - Park Rapids, MN
Secretary - RE/MAX First Choice 218-732-1191

Bruce so very sorry for your loss, my prayers are with you during this time.  Thanks for being so open and sharing the most important man in your life "YOUR DAD!"  The pictures were great.

Jan 10, 2013 01:17 AM #6
Rainmaker
2,867,684
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Bruce, I believe your Dad is very proud of you.  He understands that you are not able to attend his funeral and burial. He was ready to go and told you so. That was likely his way of saying his good-bye to you. You will be together again. In the meantime he would want you to carry on as you carry your loving memories of him in your heart.  Thank you for participating in the contest most especially given how current the pain is for you.

Jan 10, 2013 01:37 AM #7
Rainmaker
155,749
Jen Anderson
Exit By the Bay Realty - Chesapeake Beach, MD

So sorry for your loss. Your post is a wonderful tribute to your father.

Jan 10, 2013 02:19 AM #8
Ambassador
2,751,404
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

I gotta tell you, so often when that "family counsel" is asked about "pulling the plug", it often goes the other way.  Some family members out of their own need will say no.  All that does is prolong the suffering of the person dying. 

You did the right thing.  When my middle son was dying of cancer, his wife insisted on "extreme measures" to keep him alive.  He suffered a full month longer than needed to be. 

His daughter was with him when he died and when she called me late that night, all I could think and say. 

Marty won't suffer any more. 

Jan 10, 2013 05:28 AM #9
Ambassador
949,117
Lynn B. Friedman
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ... - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Dear Friend Bruce,

May I remind you about the wonderful time you had with your dad in the Fall of 2012? You made the trip when he was alive, you helped him and your mom with the house issue, you showed your love and appreciation for them both while he was abl to rceive every loving gesture from you. You were able to acknowledge and express gratitude to your siblings who bear the local daily responsibilities. 

I agree with the comments above, especially Kathleen's (#7) endorsing your dad's total trust in you to tell you where he was in a spiritual sense and Margaret's (#5) stating the truth --- that your dad would be so proud of your wonderful tribute.

Yes, there are things unsaid as there always are between folks who love each other and are separated by death. Our only path is walking through one day at a time remembering the positive parts of what was said and done. Those are just the things you did and said as the wonderful son you are.  The love of your sweet and curious and lovely wife will support you through these difficult days. And add to that the love and respect from your friends.

Have a happy day even though you are in this tunnel of saddness,
Lynn 

 

Jan 10, 2013 11:12 AM #10
Rainmaker
491,341
Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Lifetime Friend/Helper!

Lynn, thank you so much for your kind words of encoruagement.  Vanessa and I thoroughly enjoyed our time with you and Marty this past September!

Jan 10, 2013 10:49 PM #11
Rainmaker
491,341
Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Lifetime Friend/Helper!

Lynn Harley,

That was a wonderful comment.  Lynn Friedman's husband is named Marty TOO!  How many childeren have you?

Jan 10, 2013 10:51 PM #12
Rainmaker
491,341
Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Lifetime Friend/Helper!

Sorry Lenn, I wrote my note 4AM when I awoke and mis spelled your name and also Lynn Friedman's husband is Murray, not Marty

Jan 11, 2013 02:52 AM #13
Rainmaker
526,878
Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh
Century 21 New Millennium - Upper Marlboro, MD
A doctor who makes house calls.

So sorry to learn of your loss.  I know how hard it is to live far away from people you love and I know not being there makes it even harder.  Know that we are thinking of you.

Jan 13, 2013 10:41 AM #14
Rainer
136,555
Julie Bentley
Watson Realty Corp, Jacksonville, FL - St Johns, FL
Saint Johns, FL REALTOR

Bruce, My heart is heavy for you as you grieve the loss of your dad. What a lovely gift he gave you just days before his death by telling you that he was ready to go. While that knowledge won't make you miss him less, at least you know he was at peace and prepared for his life's end. 

Jan 13, 2013 10:48 AM #15
Ambassador
949,117
Lynn B. Friedman
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ... - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Dear Bruce,

Thinking of you as the days continue to pass by ...

Have a happy day -
Lynn

Jan 13, 2013 11:22 AM #16
Rainmaker
491,341
Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Lifetime Friend/Helper!

Thank you Lynn!  Knowing that he's no longer physically here, just feels different.  Talked to my mom yesterday for 45 minutes.  She's being positive, but after 1/2 a century of being with him, I know she's feeling vacant right now.  She said she cooked breakfast for ONE the first time since she can remember.
Thank you Julie!  Appreciate your kind words of support.
Thank you Dr. Baugh!  It's a great feeling to know there are people who care.  Mom said she thinks there were close to 900 at the funeral.  

Jan 14, 2013 03:45 AM #17
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