Friday, October 07, 2011

pancreatic cancer, apples, and memories

Memories cascade or at least mine do. Pancreatic cancer screams from headlines as Steve Jobs dies at age 57. It’s also been two decades since actor/producer Michael Landon’s public battle with pancreatic cancer and death at age 54.

Media reports his family claims Jobs died “peacefully”. I hope so, my Dad died from pancreatic cancer at age 75, fourteen years ago. I can never forget those long final hours of passage into final freedom from pancreatic cancer spent with him.

Memories also link. My parents first met a home computer, when a used Apple II was gifted to them by family friends.

In their 60’s you know how it goes when your parents ask, “Patrick, can you figure this thing out?”

My first impression was of a mutant home appliance and IMHO with its two disc drives and DOS commands was about the most complicated thing I had ever encountered. Of course I had no experience, no manual, and as I remember at the time the “why” had something to do with making Christmas card lists easier.

Anyway those Christmas card lists never got easier, my Mom suffered a massive stroke and my Dad was her caregiver for over a decade before she died followed by his own death just four months later. Totally ‘old school’, computers and/or Internet never played a role in their lives or caregiving. I never exchanged an email with my parents.

Years later when I entered the home computer age, several years after entering the Multiple Sclerosis caregiver era, I never forgot how complicated that old Apple II was and embraced Microsoft Windows. I’m a PC!

Now for our daughter, Apple computers were synonymous with school. I suspect like many of her generation she was raised bi-OS, fluent in both Apple and Windows operating systems.

All three of our lives have been filled with wonder and enjoyment through Jobs’ Pixar Studios.

Today, people with their faces buried in Apple iPhones walk into Patti’s wheelchair with increasingly regularity.

“To infinity and beyond!” – by all means, just please try to watch where you are walking.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer 
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1 comment:

  1. It is amazing how far technology has come and how far Steve Jobs helped advance it. Pancreatic cancer is a "wicked one", I am sorry your dad succumbed to it, Patrick.

    I had to laugh, I don't think my mom ever did much on a computer and hubby's dad refuses to have anything to do with them; his mom attempted to, but every time there was a problem she couldn't fix, she would go out and buy a new computer; she was an apple fan for a bit too, but then made the switch to a PC.

    We need to just treasure the time we have with our loved ones no matter how short or how long it can be and appreciate every single day.......

    take care of yourselves!!!



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