Wednesday, July 4, 2007

No "Strip" This Week

I'm very sorry to say I had to rush out of Vegas today to the East Coast because my 93-year-old grandfather, Morris Friess, is gravely ill and likely to die in the next couple of days. I received conflicting reports of his condition during my arduous travels today, but I saw for myself at 4 am when I got to the hospital that his breathing is belabored and he won't be returning to form ever again. His kidneys are failing and my father, per my grandfather's wishes, has refused a respirator or dialysis, so it can't be long.

Grandpa Moish is a wonderful, gentle soul who has enjoyed a productive, happy and almost flawlessly healthy life. I'm as sad as someone should be, I suppose, when someone who has lived a long, well-lived life is almost done, if that makes any sense. Very numb, but I can't possibly feel cheated. Heck, I made it in time. I doubt any of my sisters will be as fortunate.

More to come in coming days, but keep the Friesses in your thoughts. That photo is me on my graduation day from Northwestern on June 14, 1994 with my grandfather and grandmother, who died on Dec. 9, 2003 at the age of 87.

Yes, we have great genes. My living grandmother is turning 90 this month. And my great-grandfather was 104 when he died.