Monday, December 23, 2013

In The Beginning, no it is not the first book of the Bible

The first time that I laid eyes on Airman Riley He must have been 19 years old. He was a sponge and wanted to learn about everything. Medicine, listening to my old war stories. He loved when I talked about flying. I was a Ret. Full Bird that commanded a squadron at Eglin before I retired. Twenty years after I retired from playing golf, which I would ask Riley how he played that weekend, I was handed a death sentence. Late stage colon cancer.
 Eglin A.F.B., Ft. Walton Beach, FL. Regional Hospital, ward 2-east, room 225. That was my home when I met Riley. We immediately hit it off. He was a sharp kid at 19y.o. that flirted with the nurses and did his job. Most of the tech's would half-ass to my morning routine. I'd just look at them and smile. I knew I had a partner less than a week after I met him. When he did my morning routine it was complete. Bathed, shaved ,clean linen, clean clothes. I never had to ask for anything. Hell, Riley would even fill my pitcher up with fresh ice water. He was motivated and loved his job. He told me sometimes his Surgeon buddy would call 2-east and ask his charge nurse if Riley wasn't too busy I would like to have him accompany me in the O.R. Riley loved to watch Surgery. He even talked the Orthopedic Surgeon into teaching him how to put in a K-Wire. It is connected to weights to keep a displaced fracture where it should be. He talked about medicine all the time. Said him and another Tech, Henry Frazier Steele III, were going to become Doctors. I know for a fact that Riley never made it. Don't ask me how I know. You'll know soon enough. I had to convince him to do something that very well could ruin his life. Not only that but it will destroy his dream of becoming a Doctor.
 The pain was getting much, much worse. I had a steady Morphine drip that I controlled, to a point. I couldn't od. I had to make that decision after much agony and sleepless nights. The decision to end my life. Bunny and I had a lot of good years after the Air Force. We would talk about it and Bunny would just sit there and cry. It came to a point that she started listening to me. The pain I was in was not worth bearing. I was going to die, anyway, I should make it on my terms to say goodbye to my Bunny. It took a while to convince her to get someone to euthanize me. Who did we trust? I trusted one person, Riley. I trusted him with my life, or death. But would he jeopardize all his ambitions to help and old, dying, aviator? I don't know. 

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