Thursday, March 31, 2011

95 Years in a Dumpster

"In the end what will have meant the most to you? It is a short journey, yet if lived right, there will be no regrets - only fond memories." ~Mama Hen

My friend George was very dear to me. He was my neighbor when I lived in my first house back in 1997. I immediately befriended him and included him in every gathering I had at my house. His wife had passed away just a couple of years before we had met and he became such a wonderful console when I lost my grandfather and father within a few months time. He became a part of my family. I made sure that he was at every family holiday and my sister and parents also saw him as part of our family. I remember that he mentioned that he had never had a surprise party before. I was all about surprises! I made sure he had the best 85th birthday surprise party at my house. He was so happy and excited when he entered my house to see all of my friends and family yelling "Surprise!" As the years passed and I moved around George always stayed a part of my life. There was not a holiday that he missed at our house. He was at my sister's wedding and was a huge part of her family, as well as at my wedding, which only family and one of my best friends attended. For his 90th birthday we had an amazing party at my sister's house and I made cool T-shirts that everyone wore with George wearing a party hat on it. We all loved George dearly. Then George started to feel unwell. He owned two houses-a beach house and his regular home both within ten minutes of driving. He still drove himself everywhere with the exception of night driving. Living in a University town there are many fast driving kids and one day one of them hit George's car. This was devastating for him and all of a sudden a very distant relation came and got involved in his life. We told him to sell one of his houses and hire someone to take care of him in the luxury of his own home. He could also hire a driver to take him around to all the places he loved to go. However, outside influences took over and he ended up in a convalescent home. He never left his room for any meals because he was so sad. This upset my entire family. There was nothing wrong with our dear friend and he did not have to have his entire life taken over. Within just a couple of weeks the person who had taken over had a dumpster placed outside of his home and had begun to throw his entire life in the garbage. He had asked my mom to pick him up one day to go visit his house. When he arrived and saw pictures of his wife in the dumpster, as well as things that meant so much to him he sunk down and began to cry. All of the things that he had wanted to give to people he cared about had already been taken or thrown out. I had already told George a long time ago that I wanted nothing from him but his friendship and one oil painting he had done of his beloved dog. I knew how much it meant to him and I wanted that sentiment to be passed on on my home. He gave it to me for my birthday a few years back. George died shortly after being placed in the home of a broken heart. He had lived a wonderful life full of love and dear friends. It hurts me to know that he was taken advantage of in the end. His houses sold and over a million dollars was made from those sales. When I think that he did not receive the same love and care that my own grandparents did in the end I cry. Thanksgiving Thursday: 1.) Little Chick and my family. 2.) For my parents having been able to hire someone to take care of both my grandparents within their own home until they passed on. That was their greatest wish. 3.)For having known such a special friend as my friend George. 4.) The incredible love my family has for one another. 5.) For having learned early enough what is truly important in my life.


17 comments:

  1. That is so sad to read how he was being taken advantage of!

    I'm so glad to know that he's been a great part of you and your family life and I'm sure he truly enjoyed the gatherings he attended with you guys. May God bless his kind and gracious soul!

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  2. What a beautiful tribute. I love the picture of him with the birthday hat. He's in Heaven now and there is no sadness there - he won't think of the dumpster part of his life but the happiness you and your family brought him. That was Heaven on earth.

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  3. Very sad to read. It is wonderful that he had friends like you and your family to fill his life with happiness! He is now with his wife, and will no longer be taken advantage of.

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  4. You are a beautiful soul, MH. It is evident what a wonderful impact George had on your life and I'm certain that you were an angel to him. His legacy will be your memories.

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  5. Too many don't realize that the elderly have so much wisdom and can offer so much. We live in a society that worships youth and discards the inconvenient.

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  6. Oh, this just breaks me heart. I will never understand how it is that some who walk among us are completely lacking of compassion and warmth. Thank God for those who seem to possess more than their share, like you Mama Hen. So glad you were there for George, bringing love and light into his last years on earth.

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  7. It saddens me that others would come and take advantage of him like that. It warms my heart to know you and your sister welcomed George into your family's life. The memories there I'm sure have made a difference to him.

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  8. George was fortunate to have such a good friend in you. I'm sure he appreciated your family's welcoming heart. It is so tragic the way some relatives come in and take over in the end. So sad. It also speaks to the importance of having really good estate planning in place now!

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  9. George is with his wife now, but seeing her photos in the dumpster is disgusting - those people SHOULD be ashamed, but, unfortunately, THOSE are the people who never are!! We all feel ashamed for them and they just feel nothing. Sickening! Especially because George was so vulnerable in the end.

    I am so sick of many things going on these days, especially what's going to happen to nearly 1/2 a million other vulnerable ones WHO WE ALL CAN HELP BY JUST DOING ONE THING - please, All, go to www.TheLetsTalkMom.com and read what you can do to help save a vulnerable life.

    Thank God for you, Mama Hen!!
    Bianca

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  10. Oh, my dear friend. I had tears in my eyes as I read this one. You are such a wonderful person ... with a heart of gold. And I so certain that George felt so special in your presences. Sometimes we can't always understand the thoughts in others heads ... but we have to continue trying to be the best people we can be. And I, for one, am so grateful to know you. You continue to teach us all to cherish what is really important in this life of ours, and for that, I am eternally grateful to know you.

    Bless you, my friend ... bless you.

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  11. These stories happen all too often - ugh makes me so made. So sorry it happened to such a sweet dear friend of yours. I'm sure he died in peace knowing he had the love of your family.

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  12. what a great man and how wonderful you are to have had him in your life :) ahhhh such a sad story though...makes me want to cry.

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  13. That story broke my heart. Nobody deserves to be treated like that. I bet he was so thankful to have you and your family in his life!

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  14. That makes me very sad and I know it's not uncommon for it to happen that way. They are so vulnerable in the end. :(

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  15. This just breaks my heart....so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Blessings,
    Jill

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  16. Ugh this makes me SO sad!! :(

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