Surviving the Storms of Life: Caring For A Dying Friend

In my last post about the “Hatfields & McCoys: White Lightning” reality show, I mentioned that I was absent from the blog for a while due to the death of a close friend.  After receiving a very kind comment from a lady by the name of Susan, I thought it may be helpful to someone out there if I explain what happened.

My husband is originally from the mountains of Virginia (then later the mountains of North Carolina, near the Virginia border) and he had a dear friend there who I’ll call K, who was originally from West Virginia.  K eventually ended up back here, along with my husband; my husband and I met shortly thereafter.  K worked for my husband for many years, in his construction business.  They spent lots of time together outside of work as well, and they and their wives at that time (both ladies are now sadly deceased) even took vacations together.  They were best friends for over 30 years, so K was family to us.

Last year, K became very sick with lung cancer, though he was only about 50 years old.  This was his second round with the disease, and this time, they removed his entire lung.  If you’ve never seen the scar from lung-removal surgery, it’s really horrendous.  It actually looks like a giant shark took a bite out of the person, from their neck to the bottom of their ribs, and curving down around to their side.  In fact, we referred to K’s surgery scar as his “shark bite”.

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Surviving the Storms of Life, West Virginia Style

Last night, probably in part due to the extremely high heat, we experienced a storm far more severe than we usually get in these parts.  Hubby and I were sitting in the family room watching television during the storm, the electricity was going on and off, and all of a sudden he was up in a flash, running outside and looking at the sky in a particular direction.  When I went to ask him if everything was okay, he said that the wind just did not sound right.

That may have been the understatement of the year.

He was listening for a train sound (which we get here all the time, since there are lots of railroad tracks in the area) because he said that is the sound of a tornado.  Mind you, we do not normally get tornadoes in this area since we are surrounded by hills, but it has happened, and that wind was fierce.

My niece was in her apartment at the University of Alabama when the tornado tore the town of Tuscaloosa to bits.  Her phone was down and I was the only family member online at the time, so she sent me a chat message and asked me to tell her mom and dad that she loved them.  Of course, I had no idea what was happening there, but I was alarmed by that message, obviously.  When I asked her what was going on and she told me about the storm and described the horrible sound she was hearing, hubby told me to tell her as quickly as my fingers could type to stop what she was doing immediately, grab her mattress, get in the bathtub and pull the mattress over her, because she was about to get a direct hit by a massive tornado.

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