I'm sure many of you are aware of the health problems my father has had. For those who are new, my dad has been suffering from Parkinson's disease, brought on (in my opinion) from some very heavy drinking he had done for many years. He worked in the steel mills of my hometown, Granite City, IL (near St. Louis), for some 40 years.
The culture there back in the 1960s and 70 when I was growing up was simple: You worked hard in the mills during the day (or whenever your shift was) and then drank harder afterwards. No one questioned it back then. In addition (at least I've now thought of), the air in the mill (and in Granite City itself) wasn't particularly clean; in fact, Granite City pointed to the fact (with pride, even) that the dirtiest air in the state was located there.
Today, I am sad to report, my dad, George Feeney, died at 5.30 am Central time of complications of Parkinson's disease aged 79 in the nursing home he was a patient at in Collinsville, IL. To my knowledge, he went peacefully.
I found out about it about 8.30 this morning when I woke up and saw a message from my sister on Facebook asking me to call. Since I have no phone service at this time (both landline and cellular because of some monetary problems), I had to go across the way to a neighbor's apartment to borrow his phone. I called her and that's when she told me dad had died.
Funeral arrangements are pending at this time, but I do know he wanted to be cremated; both my brother and I will get a chance to see him before the cremation takes place, time and date still to be determined. I imagine it will be in the next day or two. There will be a private graveside service in Edwardsville, IL, and a memorial service at a SBC megachurch in Edwardsville my sister attends (she's in charge of the arrangements) with a meal following; it looks like that will be on Monday.
Both my brother and I are holding up OK right now. We're going through a lot of emotions at this moment. While we knew this was coming (we had seen him at Christmas and he did not look good at all), when it does happen, you're never *really* ready for it.
I want to thank everyone here, especially my friends, for their love and support. It's not going to be easy for the next few days, no doubt, and I'm sure it's going to be tough. But we do have a good support system in place, so we'll have plenty of folks to lean on when things get difficult.
I'll keep everyone posted as developments warrant. Take care everyone...