Posted 08-16-2004 at 05:58:04
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An old gentleman Pam and I knew who lived down the road from us died last week.
We had met him several years ago when our car broke down out in the middle of nowhere. No cell phone, so we started walking home. We weren't hitching, but this old man had passed the broke-down car and then stopped when he passed us. He gave us a ride all the way to the house, even though it was several miles in the opposite direction he was heading. He wouldn't take any money, but we gave him some of our honey as a thanks and he seemed happy to get that.
Turned out he was an old friend of our farming mentor, Emory. We discovered from him that he was a WW II vet who was a survivor of the infamous Bataan death march.
Anyway, I saw his obit the other day. He was getting up there in years, so we were sad but not surprised. Yesterday Emory stopped in for a visit and told us the whole story. The old man had fallen several weeks ago and broken his hip. Was placed in a temporary care facility and apparently doing ok given his age. But I guess his family decided he needed to go to a permanent facility where he could be looked after better; his hip wasn't going to improve enough for him to be self-sufficient again and his house and yard were too big, they judged.
On Friday, when he got home from the temporary facility, he shot himself to death rather than go to a permanent facility.
I understand and don't disagree with his decision, it is just sad that a good life and good man had to end that way.