Thursday, August 16, 2012

Where is Mike Now? - AFGE 39th National Convention

I traveled from NH to Las Vegas on Monday to join my Union sisters and brothers at the 39th AFGE National Convention.

Many of you know that I had to rush to NH last week to be at my Mom's side in the hospital.  My Mom had fought against cancer for the last 12 years.  She went into remission several times during that 12 years, but the cancer would move and resurface, putting her back into treatment and chemotherapy.  She had started her 9th series of chemo in late spring, a very aggressive treatment that wreaked havoc with her immune system.

When my Mom had to go into the hospital the week before last, they discovered that she had pneumonia and a blood infection (sepsis).  Because her chemo treatments had been so harmful to her, it wasn't possible for her to overcome the pneumonia and sepsis.  She was placed in hospice Tuesday of last week, and passed away early Thursday evening, with all of her family at her side. My sister and I spent several days last week getting my Dad over this hurdle and back into his routine.

In their 50 years of marriage, my Mom did all of the shopping and cooking, so we had to work on that issue a little bit.. I took my Dad grocery shopping and we filled his cupboards with easy to prepare meals that are also heart healthy and low in sugar (my Dad is a diabetic with a history of coronary problems).  Also, with the help of my nieces and nephews and folks from my sister's church, we cooked, wrapped, and froze several weeks worth of meals for him to re-heat. My Dad, a lifelong Unionist and former Union officer, didn't want me to stay away from the second week of convention for his sake. He told me he was very grateful for the help I had given him, but that he was "all set" for now, and that he knew that my Mom would want me to "get back to my business".

I'm glad that I took my Dad up on his advice; I'm glad to get back to work and to be with my 'other' family, my Union brothers and sisters.  I can't even to begin to express my thanks to everyone for all of the sympathy, empathy, and assistance I have received.  I'm blessed to have such a strong support group. 

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