“Ow!  That hurts my back,” I groaned, not knowing where I was, who was moving me or why.  Aware of bright lights, sirens and men’s voices, I heard someone say, while enclosing my neck in a brace, “Broken neck, possible broken leg.”  I thought, “Are they talking about me?  I don’t want a broken leg, much less a broken neck.”  I had no way of knowing what had happened, but suddenly the thought ran through my mind that I had been in some kind of accident.

Across the inside of my head stretched a blackboard which appeared to be blank.  Slowly, printed in white, as if someone were writing with chalk, there flashed a phone number.  Call my son,” I mumbled, repeating the numbers before me.  Then, as surely as I knew Keith’s phone number, I repeated both Ken’s and my HMO medical numbers.   “I have a pacemaker and my husband has severe Alzheimer’s.  Don’t let him wander away,” I added, somehow knowing he would need all of the important information.  “Can you tell me your name and birth date?” another voice asked.  I answered his question and gave him Ken’s name and birth date as well, then faded into an unconscious place.

Obviously, the driver of the maverick car did not correct as I had assumed.  Instead, his vehicle must have remained in the diagonal line aimed in my direction.  I was like a sitting duck in a shooting gallery, the trajectory of his set course was fixed on me.  He couldn’t miss.  In retrospect, who could have known he had spent the afternoon drinking and was drunk out of his mind?   Authorities could only calculate the speed of his car as it broadsided my SUV just behind the driver’s seat.  Out of control, the maverick bounced off before slamming once again into the rear of my vehicle, spinning it wildly before coming to a stop — facing in a southerly direction.

Inside, I had been unaware of  impact, the first blow no doubt knowking me out cold.  I can only speculate on what followed.  The seat belt, which I had buckled, failed.  I believe it retracted on impact, and in so doing snapped the metal-locking end into my lip, cutting it just left of my nose at the same time knocking out one bottom tooth.  The air bag deployed, but without the seat belt holding me in place it was ineffective.  Lacking any restraint, I became air born and was somehow hurled through the driver’s side window onto the street where I lay until paramedics arrived.  (By comparison, Ken’s injuries were minor, but still required several days of observation in the hospital.  Restrained, confused, combative and unhappy, our concerned children insisted he be released for better care at home).

While my family waited and worried outside the trauma unit, I was finally stablized by a group of dedicated and extraordinarily skilled doctors following an hour and a half  of intense effort.  Medically, I was a mess.  The team of professionals battled shut-down kidneys, stabilization worries; there were cuts, contusions, blood loss, massive bruising, broken ribs, a broken neck, head fracture with concussion and I had inhaled glass shards while exiting through the closed window  They worried I could suffer a stroke or be paralyzed as the neck fracture was a top vertebrae protecting vital areas and nerves which commanded life itself.

During a moment of consciousness I requested a blessing of healing from the clergy of my church.  Their anointing words of comfort, hope and promise fell upon me like a warm blanket on a cold night.  Finding peace among the turmoil I also found rest, allowingy myself to let go and let God further work His  miracles.  When awareness allowed me to ponder, I reviewed my broken and bruised body and while I will never dismiss the seriousness of my many and varied injuries, I am still amazed that I only suffered a broken neck, head fracture and broken ribs.  In actuality, I should be dead.  I can only believe there must be some part of my life’s mission which has not been completed.  Why else would Heavenly guided unseen hands cushion my descent to the pavement?

Originally posted 2010-05-09 00:35:36.


This gallery contains 1 photo.


Synonyms of Alzheimer's and the disease spelled out.

The cause of death for someone with Alzheimer’s is often not listed as such.

February 27, 2015 – I know, that’s a misnomer. I know that AD is seldom listed on a death certificate as the cause of death. Complications from Alzheimer’s aren’t listed either. I am using these vague words because people who die after years of suffering from AD are listed as passing on for other reasons. Therefore, in my humble opinion, this terrible disease that is so devastating to so many doesn’t get the correct count as cause of death with the statistics listed by the CDC (Center for Disease Control). How can they possibly keep an accurate count of those afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease if it isn’t even listed as a contributing factor on the death certificate? Continue reading

Originally posted 2015-02-28 23:43:37.


An Imminent Clue of Death and Dying

Naval guard at the burial site.

Death and dying, a Naval guard at the burial site.

October 10, 2014 — I got the first call about my father’s possible death on Monday, September 29, 2014.  The home nurse had stopped by for a visit that day. Her estimation was that the bed sores weren’t that bad and dad would be fine, but because of the constant pressure on the various parts of his body Dad would need to be turned every few hours. That afternoon he developed a fever, 100.4, he was having trouble breathing and hadn’t been eating well for the last few weeks. An ambulance took him to the hospital. It was routine they said, they would let me know. I am Ken Romick’s oldest daughter Deborah, and I live almost 900 miles away.

Tuesday was quiet and I thought, no news is good news. At 5:30 that late afternoon my sister called. The family would be meeting at 10:00 in the morning in my father’s hospital room to say their last good-byes. I took a direct flight leaving Salt Lake at 6:45 the following morning. Continue reading

Originally posted 2014-10-13 07:42:33.



dawn sun shining through clouds

Though death brings finality to Alzheimer's, caretaking survivors still grieve their loved ones.

May 25, 2012 — For the past few weeks the Alzheimer’s World and Community have been keeping vigil with Bob DeMarco as he waits by his mother’s side.  She is 95 years old. He knows death is near. Hospice is close by and ready when he needs help.  They are still at home: Dotty’s home, the same home where she kept vigil many years ago as her husband slipped away to the other side — to the light Bob explained.  Now, Dotty’s devoted son, after caring for his mother as she battled Alzheimer’s for the past eight years, waits for her inevitable exit into the light.  There were no options, no heroics; Dotty’s system has been shutting down, and Bob was told that it was just a matter of time. Continue reading

Originally posted 2012-05-26 07:02:01.

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