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Archive for the ‘Hospice’ Category

Make ready for friends, fun and foolishness.(5 August 2012) HO! A Landcruiser Approaches!

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120805 squash and lemon bread from Barbara Dixon to frankly & CB hand delivered. Criptographics. flefoto

I know how a black hole feels now. Pulled all that matter into its embrace. Never to let go. Ever. Not hair nor hide heard of seen of it ever again. No. No. No. says the black hole. Mine. Mine. Mine.

I wave it way too much to let go.

Perhaps a mite of an exaggeration, but, yes, I do feel friends should stay forever when they visit.

Otherwise, what if I never see them again in this life. Never!

Still (back to reality) I feel so blessed when friends visit me for a few minutes or hours or days.

Yesterday, for example, Barbara Dixon drove all the way down from Lafayette, Indiana, for a game and conversation and a thousand tiny exchanges of good feelings.

Barbara Dixon n fle at cbfl 120805. Criptographics. CB foto

Thank you, Barbara.

Bringing with her a delicious gift of squash and lemon bread – I don’t think it’s going to last the winter, Barbara; I have my doubts it will not crumble by taps this evening.

Barbara also brought a living gift with her: Brad Charlotte whom I haven’t seen in several years. He, too, bearing gifts…. of chow-chow…. relish I relish with my beans, be they white, pinto, black, black-eyed or crowder!

120805 Brad Charlotte and Barbara Dixon at CBFL.

Thank you, Brad.

Thence games (Brad vs CB; Barbara vs me) and extending befriending for most of the afternoon.

120805 CB demonstrating mechanical possibilities of a folding Scrabble (copy til you die) board to Barbara (left). Brad appears to be watching clandestinely. Criptographics. flefoto

It occurred to me this would probably be the last time EVER I would see Barbara and a dark sadness rose – bile – souring, it seemed, the whole of my insides. We assured the other we’d make the effort to make a lie of that fear, and so a tiny sprig of hope sprang up near the back of my beard.

Balancing act when I see one of my loved ones (kin or friend) which I don’t expect I’ll ever see again. Crying and laughing. Crybabying and giggling.

At the end of the day, however, I ALWAYS realize how very much I appreciate their presence in my life and know, regardless of anything else, they’ve ridden shotgun on many a mile of this superb ride.

Brad brought chow-chow; thank you very much. Criptographics. flefoto


Written by frankieleeee

August 6, 2012 at 3:51 pm

A visit from a rhymer July 3, 2013

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John Chaffee came by yesterday and storied me a bunch of his poetry and song lyrics. It felt so good, I felt way let down when that boy finally got up and walked out of my sight with his lady love Karen. Comfort lyrics. I’ll see if I can print one here one of these days. Make you feel good, too?

Why not?

Tomorrow and me   

(John Chaffee ©)


I think I’ll walk into the sea

And see

If it welcomes me

Go downstairs does someone care

To walk with me

We’ll let new thoughts 

Swirl through our minds

So fresh and free

Why didn’t I think of this before

To see the sea


I think I’ll fly into the sky

And sigh

And sail upon my breeze

Breathless rides on wild high tides

Come with me please

We’ll soar around 

The world with such

Amazing ease

Why didn’t I think of this before

To fly the sky


I think I may see yesterday

And say

What’s it done for me

Taught me how to fly the sky

And sail the sea

And what’s ahead

I will not know

‘til I go see

Why didn’t I think of this before

Tomorrow and me

Tomorrow and me

Tomorrow and me

July 3, 2013. Happy Anniversary, America, proclaims JC’s t-shirt. May we all bathe in freedom one more year, hopeful we should be that that measure of freedoms afforded us shall be increased according to our hearts’ needs. criptographics flefotot

Written by frankieleeee

July 4, 2012 at 8:48 pm


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HAPPY father’s day to me. My daughter brought Jacob and Gabi down to celebrate. CB will lead us to a cool country club buffet, if you like country club buffets. Later, looks like the kids will see a DAY in POMPEII at the museum, thanks to some Cincinnati family help. Wish I could go….. Hell, man, how many wishes does it take to fill this blog anyhow?


The country club, as usual, had the best hot pepper eggs omelet I’ve ever had, and the fresh fruit and that stuff that comes out miced oatmeal and sausage (goetta) was superb. On the near side of the other side of nowhere…. but we found it and left in one piece.

Nothin like family folks, I suspect that is especially true when you think that string is preternaturally getting shorter and shorter.

Written by frankieleeee

June 17, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Posted in Family, Hospice

20120530 Wee-Willie the Traveler joins the parade of loved-ones past my big ole chair where I sit even as I write

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Refreshments, anyone? Wet your whistle, sir or madam? Kelley danced as only she can, head flung back, apron flying above her waist as she whirled and twirled her way out of the Lunch Bunch jungle on a winter’s day in Kettering Ohio. For pennies. For dimes. For quarters and and semi dollars. For isn’t half the fun, or more, in the giving of ourselves, our money and, yes, ofttimes our anger? How lovely as they celebrate around frankly who appears to wear his new death mask. (flefoto. 120202. Golden Corral Buffet. Kettering OH)

I am one lucky sunuvagun. Since my induction into the elite of the Cincinnati Hospice program, I have made an effort to get in touch with as many old and new friends, relatives and others in an amazingly wide variety of people I’ve come to love and like and respect over the decades.

Thank you all.

Monday and Tuesday Don Mc Ghee, my blues buddy of the past twenty years, stopped by on his way home from the St. Louis blues festival orwith his helper and friend Mary Z.

Mary Z, “If you’ll just punch this button and look over here in this corner for this other selection, select your photo/s and designate them all “tags,” you’ve got it made. Jot down “tags” and you create a wildly powerly instrument, summoning every “tag” within twenty blocks to your standup hard drive; I advise you have a bucket of water on standby to keep it cool and prevent permanent damage to your computer.
See, that’s not so hard, now is it?
Your turn, Don. Don? Don? Damned, looks like I shoulda tied him up while he waited….er… to make damned sure he waited. (flefoto. fle. May 2012 Criptographics)

That was Monday and Tuesday. Seemed like we didn’t even get started talking about “stuff” afore they had to climb back into their van to head back to Detroit. But not before Mary took me in hand to teach me to “tag” my few tens of thousands of photos so that I can easily locate them (most of them/some of them/a few of them) for the likes of my blog. Don has finally gotten his own photo webpage up and running. You might wanna set down ‘n’ visit fer a spell.

(Criptographics ©2012) Don the Blues Guy; Mary Z the blues guy in training (out of sight to the right right there); CB the caregiver to the other blues guy in training from long ago and a distant planet. Had we made available to the public the visual materials we saw that day, I’ve not the singles doubt in my mind that most of us would still —- today — even — harangued to our hanging by the petty victorian policies of Planet Earth.

Problem is i need em back here already; I’ve forgotten half the stuff she taught me. Now I gotta wait for my daughter to try the same lessons all over again.

Everytime I see Willie I’m reminded of the dozens of  Scrabble (copyright til you die) trips CB and I have been making every year of our lives. Makes me sad is what it does and not as sas as poor CB gets because she must serve double duty as my caregiver which has got to be as tough as coal mining.

There are pools (betting) cropping up over several parts of the United States, a debate over what is under that cellphone under Wee-Willie’s left hand? What kind of sizzling secret do we seek to uncover? Willie spent Wednesday over here and I’m glad she did. Today, 3 days later, she’s in Vermont again. Look closely at her shoulder blades may reveal rumored vestigial wings. Then what? My god! Willie fly? Out of the ointment? Naaawwww!!!!

Willie came by for a non scrabble day of palavering about who and what and where we both knew, about who and what and where one of us knows, about all the other stuff mixed in there about which neither of us had a club.

What a day! Well worth the 3 nitroglycerin pills I took last night.

Thank you, Willie the traveler who sets for yet another journey through the national maze of scrabble boards.

If fish were wishes!

One of the bestest friends a guy (anyone) could have is Dr. Julie Avery who drove down from East Lansing to visit me. What a thrill! I met Julie years ago when we both were renting our souls to the education establishment of Michigan. Together we learned PageMaker and other MacIntosh software. My best ever support group. Of two. I hope you have a chance to read her pamphlet “Yearnings” about adults abusing adults. She is absolutely one of the best persons I know and I deeply appreciate her visit and pray I see her again before my lights go out permanently!

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12300 Julie recently retired; she deserves is the kind of person who had the power to wave her magic wand and often make play of work. I did so wish I had the energy to show here about and ask her help in laying in a few spells here and there (flefoto 2012 cincinnati).

Several of her friends (Yep, I was one) imagined we were her biggest helpers in earning her PhD. Mostly, we phoned and chatted and fumbled. But our hearts and heads were right there in place and determined. When she got it, we all had a part

Example 2 of how to visit a sick mate.

I used to dogsit for her; Hue and I were great friends until isolated members of warring tribes would flyby in their old clunkers and wake up the neighborhood at all times of the night. One afternoon I got caught on both sides. I was inside in the kitchen, patting Hue’s head with one hand and fiddling with Scrabble tiles in a game with Sarah (who has since died) with the other. All of  a sudden, all hell broke out. Domesticity gone bonkers and then some. Julie says her former neighbors who were subjected to all the turmoil light up even now, a dozen years later. I think I even heard some cursewords, wee-willie.

Still, Hue and I hung on long enough to loosen the noose.

Julie Avery, PhD, has a lot of experience in the Michigan State University Library which Don and I visited one day when they were displaying funeral stuff – live people holding dead people up to have their photos taken with them. I often regret not taking pictures of dead people, my brother in particularly and didn’t feel even a little bit leery about it.  CB, I’ sure, is assumed for you to see my living/working/dying space in our apartment. Except for a lingering chill, it’s cosy and toasty. See all the equipment hospice has piled on top of my stuff. (flefoto apr 2012 Cincinnati OH)

CB & Julie

Julie’s and Steve’s home in Michigan. She truly has a magic hand that brings out the soul of a home, lawn, garden and outbuildings. She’s good! (julie photo 120512 at fle’s request).

Written by frankieleeee

May 11, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Posted in General, Hospice

February 26-27, 2012. Then there were Janice and Roger Gross.

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So THAT's whwat friends are for! (CBfoto. 2/26/2012. Cincinnati. OH. l-r: Janice Gross, me-fle, Roger Gross)

A Santa Clause surprise… or was it the Easter Bunny… to find Janice and Roger Gross at our front door just ahead of the academy awards and how fitting in that both of them deserve special awards from me for all the help and kindnesses they have rendered over the years. Enough just for what they’re done for me. Multiple clusters and leaves for what they’ve done to help people in the 25 years I’ve known them.

Janice was among the first members of the Michigan Polio Network where I desperately went when I thought all hope of  any hope for my life was gone. A career down the tubes. A body quickly following suit. But Janice and Charlene Bozarth, then-president of MPN, pumped and punched and pounded and pled until I started breathing again. Very Slowly at first.

“We need a newsletter, boy; can you put one together for us?

“Put some of that experience in your briefcase and pull it out when we need help.”

Roger was the legal beagle, always there, always willing to give  hand.

Seems like we were all guided by the hawk-eyed Janice. She never missed a trick, even when she failed to point out foibles and missteps.

Janice & Roger Gross, two of the most supportive folks I've ever met. She kicked my butt out of miserable depression after I joined the Michigan Polio Network and Roger joined right in. "Thanks" is insufficient. (flefoto. 2/26/2012. Cincinnati OH)

Written by frankieleeee

February 27, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Posted in Hospice

120224-25: Dr. Julie, Definition of Special Friend (February 24-25, 2012. CBFL apartment. Cincinnati OH)

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CB and Julie Avery in our Cincinnati apartment. (flefoto 2/25/2012. Cincinnati OH)

As some of you know I’m sending a “death letters” (I suppose you could call them “goodbye” letters) to friends and kin as I begin preparations for transitioning to a new plane, I know not what.

The purpose is to try to tell folks why they’ve been so special in my life.

The result has been several like-responses and a lot visitors I honestly thought I would never see again.

Two such sets of visitors this weekend. Dr. Julie Avery, my friend for more than 25 years, drove to Cincinnati from Lansing MI, and Janice and Roger Gross also special friends from my days with the Michigan Polio Association.

A (last?) visit. Currier & Ives could not have bested this one. (flefoto. 2.25.2012. Cincinnati OH)

We reminisced over two days…and … let me tell you .. it’s impossible to catch up…but we did share words and sentences and paragraphs and pages, each and every one filled with warmth and humor and love. I reveled. Tiring? Who cares?

I met Julie when I woked for the Michigan Department of Education where I was editing a Special Education Instruction booklet and she for VSA MI (Very Special Arts MI). She’s in the process of retiring from the State of Michigan where she’s worked for years at the Michigan State University Museum.

Fle & Julie suspended by the light. (flefoto. Cincinnati. 2/25/2012)

When she left, the impact the never seeing her again was deep and heavy and a heavy sludge of hertache, as I imagine will be the case with all my friends and even some of my kin.

She took with her a bottle of my favorite alcohol, hard apple cider, to share with Steve.

Julie's husband Steve in obvious extremus anticipation of the elixir from Cincinnati. (Julie foto. 2/26/2012. Lansing MI)

Written by frankieleeee

February 27, 2012 at 12:29 am

Posted in Hospice, Uncategorized