Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Paul F. Benedict, MD

I got a call Friday night from my mom. She apologized for calling so late and then, as I was fumbling with the phone, told me ----- had died. Not hearing the name, I immediately assumed it was our dog, who's got osteosarcoma cancer, and 3 weeks ago was given a month to live. "Penny died!?" I exclaimed. "No," Mom said, "Granddad did."

He'd had congestive heart failure, and other medical problems for some months now. He went into the hospital on Wednesday with some complications, and passed away early Friday morning. Here's the obituary.

He was the patriarch of our family. I have lots of fond memories of him. Motorboating on Lake Wawassee and him letting me steer occasionally when the lake was calm and empty. I used to imagine piles of sunglasses on the bottom of the lake because he would always dive in and forget they were on his head. The way he went to the end refusing to give up a bit of ground in the fight against time, insisting on golfing after heart attacks and never using a cane. A great heart surgeon, he was probably the worst of patients. He always believed he knew more than his doctors he knew the risks he was taking, but never gave up because he believed it better to live a shorter, sweeter life rather than a long, dull one. He was 81, so it was really more like a long, sweet life for him. He lived a long, fruitful life, so it's not time to be sad. It's a time to celebrate his many achievements.

I only wish I could've made it home to see him one last time. Due to financial and time constraints, I can't make it back for the funeral. I last saw him when I was home a year ago for the holidays. Not seeing him is my only regret. So, I love you Granddad, and I hope you have a good adventure in whatever's next.

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