Goodbye, God Bless

Santa Prisca Cathedral

Santa Prisca Cathedral – Bar Berta Not Far Away!

A loss of an important family member occurred this past week.  My Uncle Dick (Dick Techtmeyer) passed away.  Ask anyone who knew Dick about their impressions of  him, and you’ll hear comments like, “life of the party,” “happy go-lucky,” “loving,” “happy,” “a great guy and a wonderful friend.”  The list goes on…We lost a terrific man, friend, relative, acquaintance…Dick was a total blast and a half!

One of the most impressive adventures that I personally know about is the trip Dick made with his two sisters in 1988 to Mexico.  Richard and I planned our wedding for May in 1988 and sent out invitations to everyone we knew – not expecting anyone but perhaps the village drunk and some of the villagers from our little village of Hueymatla to attend.  

SURPRISE. Never one to miss an adventure or doing something different, Dick decided this was something that was worth attending. Dick, his two sisters Lois, and Norma all somehow hopped on a plane and managed to find their way down to Mexico City.  Dick rented a car (mind you…not speaking a word of Spanish), he piled his two sisters into the car, and he smoked that car out of the rental lot in search of Taxco, Guerrero. “Don’t you worry a bit,” he said . . . assuring his sisters that he knew exactly where he was and where he was going with that 6-pack of Coronas nestled next to him and the emergency brake… The sisters hung on for dear life while Dick drove like a crazy gringo up into the mountains from Mexico City to Taxco, Guerrero.  “Have no fear,” he hollered!

Taxco - The Nearest Town to our Village

Taxco – The Nearest Town to our Village of Hueymatla

Richard and I had the task to find Dick and his sisters once they arrived in Taxco, which was the nearest town to our village which was about 50 miles away…it wasn’t too difficult.  Within minutes we found him and his many new-found Mexican friends at Bar Berta which overlooked the zocolo.  Where there was laughter, Dick was not far away!  Bar Berta rocked that night! 

The day before our wedding, Dick, Lois and Norma followed us out to our humble little village via the “burro trail” of a road to spend some time with us in the “campo.”  I still wonder what he told the vehicle rental people in Mexico City when he returned the rental car at the conclusion of his adventure…

Once he arrived in our village of about 200 souls, it didn’t take Dick long before he hauled out his new video camera and was walking the village and taking in the sites and sounds of the real Mexico.  It also didn’t take much time for him to find the old wooden swinging bridge over the little river that led to an adjoining village of about 8 hearty souls.  Dick made immediate friends with everyone there and had everyone laughing so loud that we could hear the laughter pealing through the valley for miles.

Dick Techtmeyer was a one of a kind.  He was an adventurer.  He never met anyone who wasn’t his friend immediately.  And, he was the life of every party he attended (or danced on a table!).  We will always remember him and love him dearly.  Dick brought a sense of happiness to everyone and every event. 

The view from the veranda of our home in Hueymatla

The view from the veranda of our home in Hueymatla – where we were married May 8, 1988 with Uncle Dick in full Mexican regalia and grinning from ear to ear!

Today my beloved uncle is no longer with us here on earth.  But, God bless him . . . his happy spirit will always remain in our hearts and memories.  I feel honored to have had Dick as my uncle and my friend.  He was one of a kind.  Below is a picture of Dick’s daughter Pamela and me taken about 2 years ago.  Pam and I have a bond between us – – and you guessed it – – that bond is Dick Techtmeyer.  Pam had an extraordinary father, and yes, she knew it!

Pam and Patti - photo taken 2 years ago

Pam and Patti – Photo Taken Two Years Ago

– – Birth is Not The Beginning; Death is Not The End – –

We Love You, and Always Will.

If you have any pictures or stories to share about Dick to add to this blog, please send them to me, and I’ll post them for our family and friends to enjoy.  Send to richardandpattiredd at gmail dot com (written this way, eliminates the spammers but you get the gist!)

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Thanks to my Family

We have had the opportunity to spend almost 2 months with my biological uncle, his wife Rose, and cousins Mark and Randy

Much rest and the ability to love each other….

I’ve learned many things about our family — and have read a ton while resting. 

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31 Flavors – Great News Today!. . . I’ve been trying to put some weight on and today  I weighed in at 100 pounds!  Hurrah!

31 Flavors of Ice-Cream

31 Flavors of Ice-Cream – I’ll be at my appropriate weight in no time!

Having gained 15 pounds in a couple of months is one terrific accomplishment. 🙂

Oh Joe, Please Don’t Weep

Sadly – Joe Biden is in good company when opening his mouth and inserting foot.  Many presidents, vice presidents, and all the “wanna-be” and the “real deal” politicians have had major foot in mouth disease.  But – Joe has his own unique style of messing up…here’s a few that made me smile!

  • “Stand up, Chuck, let ’em see ya.” –-Joe Biden, to Missouri state Sen. Chuck Graham, who is in a wheelchair, Columbia, Missouri, Sept. 12, 2008
  • “Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America. Quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me.” –Joe Biden, speaking at a town hall meeting in Nashua, New Hampshire, Sept. 10, 2008
  • “You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent…. I’m not joking.” –Joe Biden, in a private remark to an Indian-American man caught on C-SPAN, June, 2006
  • “Look, John’s last-minute economic plan does nothing to tackle the number-one job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S, jobs.” –Joe Biden, Athens, Ohio, Oct. 15, 2008 (too bad that Joe can’t count the number of letters in a word…maybe we’re saving that job for another politician – like an educated  president?!)

~Compiled by Daniel Kurtzman

"I swear...my hands are clean!:

“I swear, my hands are clean as a whistle! …see, I even washed them so they’re really, really clean!”

I remember  so many politicans through the years who have offered up embarrassing  “oops” on and off microphone.  Four letter words probably don’t qualify as three-letter words, Joe. Ah heck, there are a ton of words out there . . . we’ll just not worry about that malarky!  However, you made me laugh!   If the folks in Washington DC could figure out how many letters are in the word, perhaps, just perhaps, we could get some growth and employment!  Or, is it too late?  Are people voted in as a result of the “Marvelous Plan” for “No Child Left Behind?”

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THEFT doesn’t just happen to be left to  the “little people.”  And don’t you forget it for one second;  we’re the “little people!”  To add to Poor Joe’s misery, his van was ripped off bunches of electrical equipment in Detroit, Michigan.  Secret Service agents are hot on the trail of the culprit(s).  Perhaps all the equipment will appear on Cold Case issue #403, and it will be found nestled in a junk yard dealer’s yard.  Or. . . maybe the van and equipment is pulled apart completely south of the border and being resold as I write this epistle.

Pardon me for snickering.

Joe's Van Today

If the van is still hanging around Detroit, I could defintely consider working on this search.  It would be a blast…no?!

Prescriptions – Friend or Foe?

As my husband and I have been wending our way through this lingering condition of U-238 uranium and tungsten poisoning, the number and strength of medications has been increasing.  Last week we had the worst thing happen to us that could – our prescriptions for the month were way-laid for 1 full week.

I’ll skip the details on how the medication shipment got delayed, but suffice it to say, last week we went through detoxification (obviously un-planned and not controlled).  Detoxification of our systems for seven days had us literally physically jerking every limb day and night, throwing up, and all the basic ingredients that every addict fears the most. 

Because the poisoning that we have is so heavy (trust me: uranium is the heaviest heavy metal out there), no cure is available.  Chelation won’t touch this poison.  Surgery won’t work – unless we wanted to have every single organ in our body transplanted (I understand this has been done before, but the chances of survival are about 3%-we think those are lousy odds).

So, today we drink tincture of opium, take about 4 different pain pills, and add in valium….oh, almost forgot: I use a 100 mg morphine patch too. 

Going cold turkey:  Let me assure you that it’s an experience that is uniquely wicked. And, I don’t mean “wicked good.”  Your entire body including all hair folicles and fingernails hurts like hell.  You vomit constantly, and then you lose everything out the other end too.  During detoxification your skin goes from clammy warm to freezing goosebumps alternating every 10 minutes or so.  You cannot sleep, and you long for death. 

I found myself dropped to the floor on my knees praying, “Oh God, just kill me now and get this over with.”

Well, since you’re reading this blog, you know that He didn’t provide that option to me as an answer 🙂  Both of us made it through 7 long days without our medications.  I’m pleased to have a bit more time inspite of how I felt all week. 

Bottom line for us is that although we wish we didn’t have to take drugs, we must if we want to continue living.  If we stop, we will be stopped . . . permanently.

I am completely amazed at how much humans desire to live!  We fight for our lives even when we know that the final conclusion will be death.  No matter how jaded, cynical, angry, or pessimistic we may be: Life Is Important.

There are other important issues: Quality of life and finding a dignity as we die. Unfortunately in the United States of America and most all countries, the dying are not provided a dignifed, comfortable, and painless way to die.  Suicide for terminally ill patients is unlawful (except Oregon – and there are so many restrictions there, that I would advise you not to pack your bags and get right over there…). 

Richard and I have gone full circle on the subject of the right to die.  We firmly believe the laws must be changed to protect people such as ourselves.  We should have a say over our bodies and life.  We must.  Because by not having a right to say when and how I will die from a debilitating condition, the government basically OWNS me. 

There are a few exceptional events in our life where I don’t want the government involved, and the right to die is one.

Going back to being without our medicines for one week for a moment of reflection: It was hell.  But, I found that I have an incredibly strong desire to stay alive through it all.   We humans can take a lot of battering and pain for just one deep breath of air.

Is It Ok For a Man To Cry?

You Bet.

And, for you guys out there who think crying is for sissies, I beg to differ.  I don’t want you guys to make crying a HABIT, because, well…that can be a downer….but tears are not exclusive to females or babes in arms – OK?!

Life has snags, offers up huge and nasty potholes, provides us with people who create havoc in our psyche and emotions, and things generally just “go wrong”  more often than we want.  …Oh, did I mention that physical pain occurs too?!  Oh yes, there are a lot of reasons for a guy to cry.  I believe if you, as a male, took it upon yourself to let the floodgates loose once in awhile, you’d be healthier for it.

Tears can relieve stress more quickly than you can imagine.  Think about it: tears are cleansing. 

We all have the capability to find answers to our questions and work on cleaning out sorrow in our hearts.  Sometimes it takes more time than we wish, and at other times we don’t know where to begin.  I think a few tears rather than slapping and hitting are definitely healthier answers.  This afternoon was our turn to sit together, holding hands and yes…tears came.  Half a bucket-full – not a whole bucket-full.  I hope that we’ll begin to feel a little better.  That would be nice.

Planning for the Future

How do we plan for the future? …particularly when we know that there’s not much future left for us…

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It’s difficult to deal with and plan for what’s coming up in our lives. Heck, planning for anything is hard, regardless of our health, happiness and all that jazz.
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I’m sitting on the couch with family – wondering about all this planning stuff.  I think it’s important to have our family and friends clued in on what our desires are.  I know our desires aren’t always going to be met, but I gotta’ believe we need to let people know what our preferences and desires are…family (unless they don’t like us much!) want to do what is fair and right by what WE want).

***

Planning for the future, I have found that I don’t want a darned thing.  Need things – yes / Want things – why?!

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Holding Hands = Love

Holding Hands = Love

I think I’ll plan on holding hands with Richard this evening.  Now, that’s a NEED!  I feel my heart nourished when we hold hands…feeling that fabulous feeling of being loved and cherished is soooo soooo important to all of us.

***

We are in a place right now with family that makes us both feel loved, safe and secure.  This is a sincere need for us right now.  Our physical and psychic pain isn’t curable, nor is it helped by medicines (perhaps a clunk on the head with a hammer would help!).

***

But, you know, physical touching, gentle looks of love and affection can get you through a lot of pain.

Compassion

It seems these days we don’t have an opportunity to see, feel, and hear much compassion in others.  Perhaps childlishly (or not!) I avoid watching television news lately…I don’t find much compassion or caring there.  Lots of makeup, beautiful hairstyles, and clothing though….

Last night I caught a moment of a newscaster reading the teleprompter with a pasted-on smile, seeming to be rather delighted to be at work….reporting a killing of a small child.  That scares the heck out of me.  Both the smile and the news.  Where is our compassion and feeling for each other?  Have we lost it all?

I get the feeling that we humans have really been making a mess of things lately.

Looking back in my past, I am ashamed to remember the times that I displayed my anger AND lack of compassion for others – and that bothers me because I know anger gets me nowhere positive – that’s for sure.  But, jeez, that doesn’t mean that I need to grin and tell the news…it means that I need to wake up, smell the coffee and reach out with compasson to

Friends

Friends = Happiness

those around me who need help.  I hope that as the world changes, it may change for the better – – compassion would surely be a great place to begin

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This little story below stopped me dead in my tracks one day and I’ve been hanging on to it for awhile…I think you’ll agree: it has a great message for all of us!.

During my second year of nursing school our professor gave us a quiz. I breezed through the questions until I read the last one: “What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?” Surely this was a joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Before the class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our grade. “Absolutely,” the professor said. “In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello.” I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy. ~Joann C. Jones

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Compassion, Friendship, Kindness . . . We Need Those Attributes More Than Anything in Our Lives! Be a Friend, Give Graciously, and Life Will be Bring us More Happiness…

Thank you to all of our family and friends who have been helping us through these days of helplessness we have felt over the past several years.

Mark and Debbie

Mark and Debbie - Compassion and Friendship - Thank you for sharing your friendship through all these years!!