Thursday, January 18, 2007

Art Buchwald Dies at 81

Illness clouds one's thoughts with all things medical.

I have seen this in my own father's struggles with his multiple medical conditions. They are all-consuming illnesses which chronic issues: diabetes, arthritis, renal insufficiency, and the like. None of them simple, all of them difficult to manage as individual problems, but even more complex when they occur together. Management issues seem to come before relationships when things get so complicated. So I continue to struggle to get my father to look up from his life, even for a moment.

So the coming of Art Buchwald's book, Too Soon to Say Goodbye could not have been better timed. The similarities of his illnesses with my father's were uncanny: renal failure, needing an amputation, struggling with the issues of dialysis or not, and deciding not to proceed that way. So I bought the book and gave it to him.

At first it went ignored. But time passed. He opened it and read the first chapter, and was hooked. He even laughed out loud. Art Buchwald managed to capture his attention better than I ever could have, and told a story that resonated deeply with another similarly afflicted man.

Mr Buchwald's ability to capture the humor in his last weeks, while making hospice care a reasonable option, was unique. He shared his wit and wisdom with sensitivity and pupose while managing to touch many of those he will never know along the way.

Thanks, Art. We'll miss you.

-Wes

1 comment:

Bohemian Road Nurse... said...

Thank you for including me in your blog links!