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...

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Comment by Brent Feeney on January 31, 2013 at 7:43pm

Thank you Ruth. =)  Both my brother and I are doing well overall, and as I've said, I'm glad he's not suffering anymore. Parkinson's is just a horrible disease, no doubt.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on January 30, 2013 at 7:26pm

You are in my thoughts, Brent.

Comment by Brent Feeney on January 30, 2013 at 7:17pm

Found out yesterday dad's graveside service will be held at 11 am (Central) Feb. 18 at a cemetery in Edwardsville, IL. In fact, from what I've been told, his grave is near the ones of my grandparents (on my mom's side) in the cemetery.

With a date set, I can assume he's been cremated, as was his wishes. He didn't want a big deal made out of it, which I can respect. Both my brother and I are still doing OK (as is the rest of the family; I called mom yesterday and spoke to her for a few minutes). I imagine there will be a few more difficult moments ahead, but at least I know where I can go if I need someone to lean on or to talk to. =)

Comment by Brent Feeney on January 28, 2013 at 8:20am

Just wanted to give everyone an update on how my brother and I are faring after our dad's death Jan. 17.

We're doing all right for the most part; there's been a few tough moments between the two of us, especially since the memorial service last week, but overall, we're handling it OK. Nothing that hasn't been unexpected, of course, but you just have no control over *when* it'll happen.

So far as I know, the rest of my family has been doing all right. I think they've been going through all sorts of boxes and what not of dad's belongings and sorting them out. As of Wednesday, dad's body had not been cremated; when that will take place, I do not know. I do know there will be a private gravesite service for him at some point after the cremation, but no date has yet been set. I imagine that may take place in the spring, but that's just my guess.

I do want to give a big THANK YOU to everyone for their support on here. I'm glad I have you folks to lean on if and when times get tough, and I imagine at some point, I'm going to need it.

Hope everyone has a good day and week.

Comment by Brent Feeney on January 21, 2013 at 3:34pm

Thanks Sentient. =) Very much appreciated. It wasn't an easy time, but we all did what we could. I'm glad he's not suffering anymore. The memorial service was today and it went very well. I'm sure there will be a few rough patches every so often, but I'll be all right no matter what.

Comment by Brent Feeney on January 18, 2013 at 10:16pm

Thanks very much Steph. =) 

Comment by Brent Feeney on January 18, 2013 at 6:18pm

My brother and I went to see him today at the funeral home that's handling the arrangements. He looked very peaceful and I'm glad he is no longer suffering the effects of the Parkinson's that he had.

It was the kind of closure that we really needed. I got a little teary-eyed but held it together fortunately. I'm glad we got to see him before he's cremated sometime next week.

Thanks to everyone for their kind words and wishes. It's still going to be a bit tough the next few days, but I'm sure everything will turn out all right. Hope you're all doing well today.

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 18, 2013 at 2:55pm

Loren, I need a definition on "down". As in "I'm very much down with what Joan mentions."

I found the only peace I could get about my dad was to concentrate on the good things I learned from him and the good times. I will never forgive him; I can set those bad memories aside. 

Comment by Brent Feeney on January 18, 2013 at 9:47am

Update: A memorial service will be held at 11 am Central Monday at Metro Community Church, Edwardsville, IL. Memorials may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (http://www.michaeljfox.org) or to 3littlebirds4life (http://www3littlebirds4life.org)

Comment by Brent Feeney on January 18, 2013 at 8:32am

Thanks Loren. =)  It's tough, no question, knowing it's coming, but trying to figure out when and where it'll happen is difficult at best. Don't worry about me, I'll be fine. I hope you're doing well too.



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