Monday, August 24, 2009

Greetings From Fort Mill, South Carolina

Di and I have finally settled into our new home in Fort Mill, SC.

Yes, I know we were supposed to be heading for Las Vegas. But sometimes he who hesitates is saved instead of lost.

We made an offer on a house in Las Vegas, but that fell through when the seller discovered the buyer of our Corpus Christi condo had-----without our knowledge, and in breach of the sales contract-----taken out a second mortgage on the property, thus invalidating our representation to the Las Vegas seller.

But this incident did trigger some further discussions of where we should move. While Di had professional contacts in Las Vegas, she had no close personal friends or family. And I had neither in Las Vegas. But when death is looming, you need your family and friends more than ever.

It was Di who first suggested moving back to the Carolinas, and I readily agreed. We bought a condo on Highway 160 near Tega Cay, about a mile from the state line with North Carolina. I am just a few miles from the graves of my parents and grandparents; while it sounds illogical, I find this comforting.

My journey began here, and it will soon end here.

All the people I love most are now near me. I have often written here about how lucky I have been in my life, and the biggest stroke of luck has been my loving, generous, and kind aunts, uncles, and cousins. In particular. I want to thank my Aunt Polly for caring for me while Di handled the move back in Corpus Christi. Polly never had children of her own, and she lovingly babysat me when I was five or six years old. I'm now 56 years old, and she lovingly babysat me for the past three weeks. If I have ever known a saint, it is her. My Uncle Grady has two hobbies: golf and helping other people. He and his wife, my Aunt Betty, have been in daily contact, offering to take me places, bring me stuff, shop for me, etc.

My cousin Cheryl visited me often. While I love all of my cousins, Cheryl and I have long been tuned into a frequency the rest of the family can't receive. When she visited, she brought me reading material such as National Enquirer and, of course, The Elvis Encyclopedia. She and I share the same demented worldview, and she never failed to lift my spirits.

To all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins, I love you more than I can express in words. Pure, unconditional love is a rare, miraculous thing. I am so lucky to have been bathed in it since my return.

Physically, I am declining fast. I can still eat, bathe, and generally care for myself, but I can't walk more than a few steps before becoming exhausted. I spend most of my time in bed or on the sofa. The only difference between me and a street junkie is that I have a doctor's prescription; we both need our periodic drug fix to get through the day.

But I am happier than I have been in a long time. I'm not going to live any longer here, but I will die surround by people who truly love me. That means a lot.

And this will be my final post here. One reason I started this blog was to keep my family informed about my status; now I can tell them face-to-face. As a writer, I hate to leave projects unfinished, and this blog is no exception. And frankly there are much bigger priorities in my life than this blog. So now it now ends (although one of my survivors may post my death notice).

I thank everyone who has read and followed this blog. I also thank everyone who read my books and articles over the years and the many people around the world I came to know from my radio hobbies. And my friends in the publishing industry have given me far more than I have given them.

To borrow the old Navy farewell, I wish you all fair winds and following seas.