To read about F's and my London trip, start here and click "newer post" to continue the story.

Monday, November 27, 2006

What a week. Miss F was at home all last week, of course, with the flu turning out to be perhaps not so mild after all. Her ped. put her on Tamiflu on the chance that it wasn't too late after onset of symptoms to do her any good. By Friday she looked a little less desperate. But we didn't go anywhere on Thanksgiving. I think I took a nap. I really don't remember. Worked Friday and had to work ALL day Saturday, from 8:00 to after 5:30, and then Sunday after church we took F back to school, a 6-hour round trip. Supper with my parents on the way back, which was nice.

I thought today I'd leave work on time for a change and come home, eat something, and fall in the bed, but I got a call from my former boss this AM telling me that my former lead analyst, John, died last week. Quite a shocker. I knew he was sick. He had a kidney transplant 26 years ago, which is a phenomenal amount of time for one transplant to last, but he had run into problems. The process of trying to diagnose them shocked his kidney into inaction. They were thinking to put him back on the transplant list, but in doing dialysis in the meantime, the kidney was allowed to rest and get hold of itself, so to speak, and actually regain some function. And that's the last I had heard, but apparently he was in a lot of pain; they did MRIs and so forth and couldn't find the source, and concluded that it had to be the kidney and operated to remove it, but when they did they found a very large tumor that had invaded everything and for which nothing could be done. So it wasn't the kidney after all. This was Wednesday, and he died on Friday. I left the job in which I worked with John in September before he got sick, but R and I went to see him in the hospital. He didn't look that bad. I think this was kind of a shock for everybody. John was 53 years old and he talked kind of loud, like people do who have hearing loss although as far as I know his hearing was fine. I remember him walking briskly into my office virtually every morning and bellowing HELLO MISS LAURA at the top of his lungs. I had to shut my door sometimes when he was talking to someone in the lab next to my office because his voice projected so. I remember once he had the radio on in there and they were playing fight songs and challenging their listeners to name them, and I heard him hollering out those song titles as he worked - "On Wisconsin!" and so forth. That was so funny. He knew all kinds of stuff. F emailed me from school one day in despair, wanting to know how and why JFK deflected interest toward third world countries during the cold war. (I have to say that her Western Civ course was exponentially more grueling than the one I had.) At a complete loss, I read her email out loud and John gave me an entire detailed, expositive answer. He was one of those people who know stuff because everything is interesting to them. Gosh, I hate that this happened.

So after work I went to his memorial service, at the church where he apparently was very active. They spoke affectionately of him and will miss him a lot, not only for the things he did but for his friendship. One's thoughts turn to what would be said at one's own service, of course. "Laura loved her family, and her kittycats, and she was much happier in the laboratory than doing housework." Ha ha.

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