I am the oldest of six children. Early this morning, just past midnight, my brother, John David, the youngest of us, made his transition. While I'm so very sad this morning, I know that this was a release and a blessing for him.
John was plagued with health problems his whole life. He was born only one of his kidneys was functional and never functioned at 100%. He has had over 30 surgeries in his life, including one where our sister Margaret gave him one of her kidneys. In 2009, his hip needed to be replaced, so he was given a DePuy hip--the one that was later recalled because it throws off cobalt into the blood stream. By the time it was recalled, his good kidney had failed. John was on dialysis. He couldn't get the hip replaced because he didn't have a good kidney; he couldn't get a new kidney because of the defective artificial hip. His health has steadily deteriorated over the past couple of years.
John was always a happy-go-lucky guy with a big smile and an even bigger heart. He was quite the fisherman. I remember the moment fishing became his passion. Daddy had taken John, Mike (my other brother), and me deep-sea fishing. John was very young, 7 or 8. No one was catching anything. I remember the captain whispering something in John's ear. If you have ever been deep-sea fishing, you know, when you deep-sea fish, you have multiple hooks on your line. A few minutes after the captain whispered in his ear, John reeled in his line. There was a fish on each hook. Everyone on the boat was stunned that this little boy caught all those fish. From then on John was a fisherman in his soul. Broadway Elementary School only had one book about fish. John had it perpetually checked out.
John is survived by two little boys, Josh and David, who will miss their daddy terribly. My sisters, Joan and Margaret, have been John's angels for the last couple of years, managing his affairs and being there for him every step of the way. I am so grateful to them for all they did for John.
This is a picture of John at Thanksgiving in 2011. Josh is on his left; David is on his right. Be at peace, dear brother.