[NOTE: After re-reading this, this post went from me whining about not receiving a speedlight when I expected, to talking about the recent death of a loved one. So, you can stop reading after the first paragraph if you don't want to read my rambling - PH]

Hi Folks -

So, as I said about a week ago, I bought a D7000 and an Altura speedlight - both of which are still inbound. The camera I knew was going to take a bit, but I was figuring the light would have arrived by now (should have been here by 24FEB15). To keep both of them from being picked off of my porch, I had them sent to my work. Of course, I was called away to an emergency (more on that, below) so I wasn't at work to be waiting for it. I checked the USPS tracking link and it said that the light was delivered...to an entirely different town. Not sure how that happened as (and the vendor verified this) the ship to address clearly was my work address, down to the company name and my office number. So now I get to go to the post office and see what the deal is. A first world problem, for sure, but what a PITA. I do await to hear their explanation. Also, I hope they don't hose up the camera delivery.

As for the emergency (this, by the way made for a much shittier week than not getting the light): I have a sort of second "adopted" family - you know how sometimes you bond with people and you're closer than you are to blood relatives? Well this is that.

Anyway, my sister got a hysterical call from mom on Monday morning. Dad has been in the hospital for the past 3 mos (esophageal surgery to remove cancer - this we knew about and we knew that there were complications, a la collapsed lung, sepsis, etc... but the prognosis was good) and was starting to get better then...well, the doctor says that his body got tired of fighting. After 3 mos of bullshit, I can't say that I blame him. So they told mom that his organs were shutting down and that he had 48 hrs to live. We catch a redeye and fortunately he was there enough to see that we were there (they had told him we were inbound, so the doctors felt that he hung on until we arrived) and he died about 24 hours later, or so.

Now, I've been through this with my actual (biological) father - he had unchecked diabetes tear through him (his own fault, TBH) that lead to a shitty last 5 years of his life...when you observe that, you get some very clear ideas on life, death and quality of life. So I'm dealing with this OK. The hardest thing, I think, was when the nursing staff when the went off shift. See, they pretty much took care of him for 3 mos and they all knew and liked him very much. Tuesday was the end of their week, so they weren't going to be there on Wednesday and they call came in to tell him goodbye and that he fought as hard as he could. That was tough to see.

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Some nice points:

  • One of the nurse practitioners came in on her day off to check in on him, and mom said that we were coming in and she didn't like the fact that dad had about 2 weeks of beard...so the NP - on her day off, mind you - stayed there and shaved him. She was finishing up as we arrived.
  • His thoracic surgeon - one of the, if not the best thoracic surgeon in the area - came in on his day off a couple of weeks ago to make sure that dad was getting up and walking.
  • My sister and I went straight to the hospital from the airport, so we're walking through the CCU with our luggage trying to figure out where the hell to go when a nurse approaches us: "Did you just come in from California? We've been waiting for you!". Apparently all of the nurses in the ward knew about dad and that his kids were coming in...

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I remember talking to mom earlier on when he was in and out of the hospital. I pointed out that dad had been shot twice (Viet Nam) been in a plane crash (Air Force) had two heart attacks and been in an auto accident...dad doesn't need to be afraid of Death, Death needs to be afraid of dad because sooner or later he's going to get sick of this shit and kick Death's ass. Reckon we all lose to Death sooner or later...

Sorry for the rambling post - I guess I'm venting...