02 December 2014

Some background...

                                                                                             photo by Eero Ruuttila

Some background for Jim’s extended community from the family-
   Jim made a decision earlier this fall to accept offers from Jed and Deirdre to spend part of this winter with each of them and their families in Arizona and Illinois, respectively. This decision took some time to come to, as the limitations of his Parkinson’s on his physical being and abilities became increasingly apparent to us all. Jim was to spend December and January in Flagstaff with Jed and family, traveling from there to visit friends, Maggie, and his sister Joan in California, and then on to Oregon to see more friends there. He was to head east in February, spending late winter at Deirdre and Denny's in Kewanee, returning to Georgetown with the warmer weather in spring. His hope was to leave for Europe in May…
  Jim, Bert, and Jed shut down the house on Webber Rd. for the winter, celebrated Jed’s birthday dinner in Whitefield with Bert and family, with a Maine farewell dinner the next night at Ida’s with her family and Bert’s (with 5 of Jim's 9 grandchildren present!), and the following morning packed a few things into the Ford and headed west for Illinois. Thanksgiving was at Deirdre’s in Illinois, with granddaughters’ families and Jim’s great-grandson Corbin, with fresh news of another great-grandchild on the way. Thanksgiving evening Jim and Deirdre spent discussing the publication of Jim’s poems from 2002 to present, in a work to be called “A River I Couldn’t Find”.
   On November 28th, Jim and Jed left Deirdre’s late morning, bound for Flagstaff. Clearing blue skies and warmer temperatures as we moved south into Missouri. Jim spoke that day at length about options for the coming years, how to manage his literary estate, and recalling the lives and deaths of his parents and aunts and uncles. He spoke of Jesse James, and his belief that some of his ideas about life and the societal structure we live within might have been comparable to those of the outlaw.  
   At about 6:30 we stopped in Joplin at the Motel 6. Jim checked in, and shortly after entering room 124 sat down, became unresponsive, and collapsed. Paramedics arrived a few minutes later.


29 November 2014

I'm writing you all to let you know that Jim had a stroke last night in Joplin, Missouri. He was also diagnosed with pneumonia. He is currently unable to communicate & the prognosis is not great, but his vitals are fine for the time being. If he does pull through he may need full time care. He is with Jed & Deirdre & Maggie. Please send him your love. And be in touch if you have questions, otherwise we will be in touch as thing progress.
Love, Bert


2 December 2014

Dear all,

   Thank you for your thoughts and prayers and concern.

   Jim remains unconscious. MRI imagery shows the severity of the damage to his brain from the stroke. Our observations are that Jim has almost no ability to move the right side of his body & has demonstrated almost no responsiveness. Doctors warn us that his ability to both speak & to process language is likely substantially impaired, and that he may have problems with vision & the ability to protect his airway. Pneumonia and his existing Parkinson's disease complicate the picture.
  Jim's children and Maggie are either here or closely involved. He's well cared for and surrounded by love and kind attention. We're grateful in some way to find ourselves centrally located in the country, between Maine and California, Illinois and Arizona, and to have been on the road in a place with competent, compassionate, and kind medical professionals readily available.

  With love from Joplin, Missouri

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks this wonderfully written document. The last two sentences of the Background entry slammed against my heart. Blessings to Jim, blessings to all of you. Peace to Jim, peace for us all. Beauty for Jim, beauty for us all.