Humans of Etown Story #4




“It was 1965, I was 7-years-old and my dad was relatively healthy and my mom was pregnant with my brother Chris. We didn’t think anything was wrong. He was thin, very fit, but he was getting tired all the time, so he went to the doctor. After he saw the doctor he was referred to a cardiologist. Today you can just do a simple operation but back then it was unbeknownst. They were trying to figure out what to do and eventually his heart just stopped working. He died of a faulty heart valve.”


“I was very young so I didn’t really understand what was going on or how serious it was. For me it was just my dad had to go to the hospital. I stayed with a friend of my mothers, her name was Mrs. Mueller, who is still alive today, for about a week. Now it was June, so I didn’t have to go to school. I spent at least a week there because my mom had to keep going back and forth from my home to the hospital. I don’t really remember where my sister Beth and Joanne stayed. To tell you that, I’d have to call them.”


“I remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting in their living room and I remember how she told me. She came up to me and said, ‘You know how your dad is in the hospital, well I’m sorry to tell you this but he won’t be coming home.’ She seemed a little uncomfortable when she told me but she was a very strong person and very sincere. I can’t remember the time of day but it was the day after the fourth of July and I remember I knew exactly what she meant. There wasn’t much I could do but cry really. His funeral was three days later Koller’s funeral home.”


“My mother fortunately had a lot of help. Especially from my grandfather and grandmother. All my aunts and uncles helped too. My grandparents did a lot, they would take me down to their house every once and a while. I remember my grandfather took me to a Phillies game. I also remember my cousin Andy took me to a 76ers game as well. My Uncle John helped a lot too, he was a great guy.”


“Six years later my mom met her current husband through my Aunt Fran, who was his sister in law. My mom and Aunt Fran had kindled a friendship a little after my dad died. His wife died and he had two boys and a girl. They met in 1970 and got remarried in 1971. Since our house was bigger, they moved into our house. So, after they got married, we had to combine families. We had to get used to each other, which wasn’t easy because everyone was kind of at odd ages. Most of us were in high school so you know how they could be. We were all getting used to each other. When I look at it now it was kind of funny, but it wasn’t back then. Now the boys had to live in the basement and the girls lived on the second floor. It was tough but we got through it.”


“Everybody goes through tough thing in life but if they have a good family they can get through. Sure, it was tough for me but I couldn’t imagine how hard it was for my mom. I can’t stress enough how important family was in all of this, if our family wasn’t as strong as it was I don’t think we could have gotten through it.”

(Malvern, PA)

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