Friday, December 17, 2010

Planting The Seed

  I have survived another night, beeps and all. I have wasted away, almost. The cancer has ravaged my body to the point I cannot stand alone. My skin has become so thin the doctors put a catheter into my subclavian vein because my IV's kept infiltrating. I no longer have to take shots for the pain, instead, I am receiving Dilaudid IV through my new catheter. I have spoken with Bunny and told her of my plan to ask airman Riley if he would end this suffering for me. He will come to my room, as he does every day, to say good night and I have decided to ask him today. Bunny took it harder than I expected. She hates to see me like this but she is not ready to lose me. We have had a good life, together, but it is time for it to end. She was so upset that she had to leave the hospital around noon and I talked her into staying at home to get some rest. It has been really hard on her. Our two best friends, Tom and Joan Riley, were leaving this afternoon to go back to Kansas and I wanted Bunny to be with them when they left.
  Tom has been a great friend over the years. We went through hell, together,in the Tokyo raid of April, 1942. He was my bombardier on that flight with the other 'Doolittle Raiders' as we had become known. I remember Tom checking his bomb sites over and over on that three and a half our flight after we left the USS Hornet. There were 16 B-25's in that raid, a total of 80 men. We did not have the gas to make it to China because of having to take off early. We flew low and in single file and when we reached the Japan coast we went to our pre-planned route to drop our bombs then try to make it to China. We were flying so low the Japanese thought we were their planes and would wave at us. Tom yelled that the load had been dropped and I made a bee-line north knowing we would not make it. Tom touched me on the shoulder and said not to worry that we would make it out alive and back to the great United States of America. I looked back to him and smiled.
  After Tom and Joan left the hospital I knew that I would never see them, again. Tom, by the look in his eyes, knew it too. We said our goodbyes and started to weep. That was the first time I had ever seen him cry. Even through those years as a POW. He never cried. I will miss him, dearly. Now I have to convince airman Riley to end this for me. It was about time for him to come in through the door. I did not have to wait long.
  "Alright Col. D. It is my time to go. Sleep well and no dreaming of those geisha, we don't want you to have a wet dream." Then he laughed. I sure will miss this kid more than I ever  thought. I spoke up. "Sit down a minute, Riley, I want to ask you for a favor." The colonel spoke softly. "I would not ask you this but I need you to do something very important for me." Riley said just to name it and it would be mine. "I need you to put me out of my misery." He looked funny then told me not to even joke about that. "I am serious, I need you to put an end to all this. I can't take it, anymore. Bunny can't take it, anymore. Please." He looked like someone just punched him in the stomach. "I will see you, tomorrow." He looked down and slowly walked out of the room. The seed had been planted.

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