After my last post, there have been a few days of silence on my end.
My father died on Friday morning in the hospital as my mom, brother and I were driving over to meet with the discharge planner about options. The day before, we had visited an end-of-life facility in our area, not exactly a perfect choice because my father was suffering. “End-of-life” is more like intensive hospital care where all medicines continue to be given. Hospice allows someone to be monitored and made comfortable with medication while family are around until the person passes away. That is more of what we wanted.
The dread of our final decision as we drove over was lifted when the call came on my mom’s cellphone: My dad was no longer with us.
He had just died, 20 minutes before our arrival. My brother, mom and I were able to spend time with him in his room without all the hook-ups and machines pumping away.
It was very quiet, peaceful and comforting in the hospital room now, something we had not experienced since my dad’s admittance 10 days before.
For about a week, he was almost continually on the by-pap (a full-face mask that pumps oxygen into the lungs) because he couldn’t breath except for about 45 minutes when it was taken off for him to eat. The nurse told us they’d taken off the by-pap, he’d had his breakfast, they’d given him a sponge bath, turned on the TV for him to watch and were returning for his inhaler treatment when he passed away.
It was a great blessing, for all of us.
A Beloved, Respected Teacher and Community Figure
Because my father taught at Marshall High School for 30 years as a history and civics teacher, he was very well-known in the surrounding community. In the hospital, we had 3 nurses who’d had him as a teacher before he retired. Even if they weren’t assigned to my dad, they came by to see how he was doing, talk to him and tell humorous stories about his classes.
And my dad was humorous! He was quick-witted and had the best one-liners of anyone I know.
Because he had struggled in high school due to learning difficulties, he understood students who were not considered the best or the brightest. Civics and U.S. History were courses that all had to pass in order to graduate from high school. Those were the subjects my father taught and he made sure to give extra help to anyone who needed it. He’d stay after school, coach at-risk students so they’d be able to pass his tests and patiently explain concepts that were difficult or new. That extra help gave him the respect and admiration of everyone, including parents worried their kids wouldn’t get a high school diploma.
Within the community, he was very active and always rooted for the underdog. One of the greatest achievements in life for both my mom and dad was organizing and leading a local activist group called Concerned Citizens of Clark County. This group was specifically formed to voice their concerns and adamant opinions against having a nuclear waste facility put in our county. This was a 10-year battle against the State of Illinois, the government itself which sent down all their lawyers, researchers and experts to tell our community that this was a wonderful thing for our area.
It was not!
Concerned Citizens of Clark County, with my dad as the chairman, eventually won the battle to protect our land from becoming a nuclear waste dump. This accomplishment was an amazing feat, one which my mom and dad were so pleased to have been a part of.
Visit the Funeral Home Website To Really Know My Dad
If you would like to know what a truly wonderful father I’ve had, please go to our local funeral home’s website to read his obituary and all the touching stories people have been sending in about Mr. Wieck. Pearcefuneralservices.com
Just click on “William Y. Wieck” under obituaries and “View all” under the daily posted condolences.
I will add a note that the date of birth and death “Feb. 7, 2015 – Feb. 6, 2015” is wrong (duh!) unless it’s been corrected by the time you log on. Just one more thing for my dad to get a huge kick out of if he were alive.
One thing that would really please my dad is that he will have a military send-off after the memorial service on Wed. morning. He will have his color guard, his gun salute, taps played and the folded American flag which will be presented to my mom.
His service to his country as a US Marine was very dear to his heart. It will be a fitting way for all of us to to say “goodbye.”
From Marshall, here’s wishing you Ping An (Peace) for your day and ours here in the Wieck family.