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Retirement

04 Sep

Hello, my name is Allison Poindexter, and Bill Hamilton was my dad.  I’m writing this to share that on Wednesday, September 3, my dad Bill Hamilton lost his battle with COPD.  

On Monday, after celebrating Labor Day weekend with my family and Mom, Dad started feeling poorly.  They contacted Hospice, who came to the house within hours and provided medications.  When he didn’t feel better by Tuesday, it was determined that the best course of action would be to take him to the hospice center.  I spoke with him Tuesday evening–I was confused and scared because the hospice hadn’t started an IV antibiotic treatment–and ended the conversation with the customary “I love you, Dad.”  On Wednesday morning, my mom and Dad’s friend Art had the chance to visit him at the hospice center, but by the afternoon, Dad was declining.  The nurses provided him with medicine to make him comfortable and allowed him to fall asleep.

At about 1:45, he died peacefully in his sleep with my mom by his side.  

My mom and I are so grateful for the care my Dad received through hospice.  After speaking with my dad on Tuesday, I told my husband that my greatest fear was that Dad would suffer, gasping for his last breaths.  But in the end, despite all of the warning we had that his end was near, Dad’s retirement was sudden and painless.  

I’ve been so grateful for this blog and this community for providing my dad with an outlet as he prepared for this inevitability.  In the past two years, he composed 302 posts, received nearly 17,000 views, and earned over 4,000 comments.  My dad would never profess to being a writer, but this blog is longer than most novels.  I’m so proud of him and this work, not because it is perfectly and eloquently composed, but because he helped people with his positivity and his humor.  On a personal level, I’m glad that he took this time to tell his stories, stories of growing up in Louisville, stories of parenting me, stories of the illness that took his life.  I’m so thankful that my daughter will have the chance to know her grandpa like I know him.  

I have taken over administrator responsibilities for this blog, so feel free to comment away.  Thank you for reading.

 
52 Comments

Posted by on September 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

52 responses to “Retirement

  1. Chess

    September 4, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    My condolences for you loss, your father will be deeply missed.

     
  2. Kira

    September 4, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Keeping you and yours in my thoughts and prayers.

     
  3. Bruce McVey

    September 4, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    I’m so sad to hear this news. Bill and I have become friends recently sharing our different blogs and health struggles. He was a wonderful person to get to know over the past several weeks. RIP, my friend. I’m sure there is a lot of great music for you in heaven.

     
  4. Tim Black

    September 4, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Grateful to be with you yesterday and for your dad’s life and witness.

     
  5. Brenda Davis Harsham

    September 4, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Dear Allison, Oh I am so sad. I counted your dad a friend, and cared a lot about him. I feel stunned. I know that his family were his strength and gave him drive, and that his big heart made him care about so many things, even those of us he never met in person. He will be missed. My sympathies to you and your family. At least he managed to leave a rich legacy of connection, affection and warmth. I am grateful to have known him. Blessings, Brenda

     
  6. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

    September 4, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Dear Allison, I was shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of your father, my friend. Our deepest condolences from my family to yours on this sad day. He was a great man who became a very good friend. Holding you and your family in our hearts. Love, Paulette & Terry Mahurin

     
  7. Chatter Master

    September 4, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Allison, i will miss your father’s every day presence in my world. He made so many of us laugh with his LOLs, feel comfort from his soft smiles, and taught with his humble and witty presence. My condolences to you. Your mom, your daughter and husband. It was obvious you all were his world. May God send a flurry of laughing and comforting angels to embrace you all.

     
  8. Helen Devries

    September 4, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Such a lovely man….I am glad that he was able to pass peacefully.

     
  9. Karen Berberich

    September 4, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Dear Allison

    I just found out of your dad passing. I have to be honest it hit me hard and the tears just keep flowing. Although I did not know him personally I considered him a dear friend. He was such a kind gentle and generous man. How lucky for you to have had him for your dad. Please know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I am so very sorry

    Rest peacefully my dear friend

    Karen Berberich

     
  10. Dawn/Tom Trattner

    September 4, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Allison, My sincere sympathy to you and your family. Your dad will be missed by many–his family, his friends, his church family. I loved his wit and wisdom and was privileged to call him a friend. We met through First Pres Brandon, where we attended and sometimes dined together through our Meet & Eat group. I often told him how much I appreciated his blog, especially since my dad had COPD for many years before passing away ten years ago. Unfortunately, for me, my dad rarely shared his thoughts about the same disease that took his life. Your dad–quite the opposite. I learned through him what life was probably like for dad. What a wonderful tribute he left for you and your family–his diary and writings. I was especially touched that just this past Saturday he completed the ALS Ice Bucket challenge. What a guy–living life to the fullest. Please know that you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. Your dad lives on in you and your daughter–he is a part of your personality, your tenacity, your spirit and will be in your hearts forever. May you be comforted in knowing that finally he is breathing freely and is at peace. Dawn Trattner trat@aol.com

     
  11. Levi Thetford

    September 4, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss and that of your family and lived ones. May The Lord give you all that peace that surpasses all understanding. He will be missed!!!

     
  12. reocochran

    September 4, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    I am so sorry that you have lost your father and wish that your family be eased of any sadness, that you will be lifted up and encouraged by the best things that your father embodied. I have been humming “Born Free,” for some reason. I have never heard it played after a death, but somehow this song flooded into my thoughts. I wonder, did he love this song? Did it mean anything to your family? I wish to say, he is re-born into a place he can run, jump, fly and be lighter than air, because he can be an angel, while he seemed like one to me, already! Hugs, Robin

     
  13. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

    September 4, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Allison – It’s difficult to leave a ‘like’ on a blog when it has to do with the passing of a friend and your father. I like so many others, came to know your father through his blog, and what a blessing it was for me. We also talked on the phone and he and my husband talked on the telephone. When I told my husband, Tom, of your father’s passing, we shared tears together.
    Thank you for posting his retirement blog allowing all of us to have closure. I sincerely appreciate your bringing the Hospice component full circle.

     
  14. jmgoyder

    September 4, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    Dear Allison, I have only just seen this and am so shocked. Your dad was such a wonderful, caring, larger-than-life man. How he found the strength to continue writing his blog amazes me. He was such a supportive and generous friend to me. My love to you and your family. Julie x

     
  15. benzeknees

    September 4, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Allison & family – I first met (in only the way online buddies can) your father at Christmas/13 as he was volunteering to help raise the spirits of others who may not have family or friends of their own to celebrate with. Like him, I was volunteering a bit of my time because I was feeling a bit shell-shocked after receiving my COPD diagnosis just 12 days earlier. Your father took me under his wing, answered all my questions, helped me with my anxiety & introduced me to other people in the same boat as we were. Over the months, I was the beneficiary of his humor & wisdom so many times. In addition, through his eyes, I got to meet his family & his friends.
    My heart is so heavy today as I continue on my journey to retirement. I will carry him in my heart since he can no longer walk the path with me. Please know you have my deepest sympathy, I know Bill was a big presence in all our lives & he will be sorely missed.

     
    • jaklumen

      January 12, 2016 at 12:44 am

      Come for Company (Christmas) is how I came to get to know Bill virtually as well.

      I know it’s been over a year… but I referenced Bill in my “Candle in the Window” post. Enough people asked about the WP friends I included that I figured I needed to bite the bullet and post something here (if Allison is still moderating comments).

      Of course, I didn’t reveal until recently that the candle was representative of Cimmy and I overcoming domestic violence. Life is truly bittersweet, sometimes.

       
  16. Lori Weaver

    September 5, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Dear Allison and Family, I was blessed to know your father for the little time I did. He helped me in so many ways. I am in tears as I write this as I will miss him so much. I had no idea he had such little time left as he lived his life daily to the fullest. He made a big impact in my life. He was such a caring, loving man with great humor. His passing is a big loss to me and so many. You were blessed to have him as your father, husband and grandaughter. I will keep you and your family in my prayers as I can’t imagine the loss you feel. I will keep Bill in my heart. RIP Bill

     
  17. Jean Heggestad

    September 5, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Love you Allison. We will see each other soon. Jean

     
  18. MyDailyMinefield

    September 5, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    To Allison and all of Bill’s family: I am so very sorry to hear he lost his fight with COPD. He was one awesome guy! I gave him a bad time about not having Pearl Jam on his music list, so he goes and adds Black and Jeremy. I figured he wouldn’t even know who PJ was, much less their songs. He always answered our questions and replied to our replies. I will really miss him, his updates and his wry humor.

    Bill, I give you another Pearl Jam song by Eddie Vedder – you know how much his words mean to me and I hope these mean something to you and your family:

    “And the road
    The old man paved
    The broken seams along the way
    The rusted signs, left just for me
    He was guiding me, love, his own way
    Now the man of the hour is taking his final bow
    As the curtain comes down
    I feel that this is just g’bye for now ”

    Hearts and thoughts to you all.

     
  19. PRonlineNews

    September 5, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    May the Hamster rest in peace from a friend online at a Daily Strength support group

     
  20. Barbara Farrelly

    September 5, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    You and Bill’s family are in our thoughts and prayers, Allison.
    You get used to us with end stage Copd coming back from crisis after crisis after crisis. Then one day we don’t come back. And it’s a shock you can never be prepared for. That’s how it was with my mother. That’s how it will be with me.
    I’ve only being blogging since April. I refer to myself as being in The Departure Lounge whereas Bill spoke of ‘the end of retirement’. It came swift, the end.
    Alison your father would have been proud that your honored his contract to us to tell it like it is.
    Bill had what I would call a good death, and it capped off a full life.
    From the first, when I had no followers, Bill joined in my blog even though I know his energy would have been limited by this disease. Fatigue creeps into your bones.
    As I read over his posts, I realized his blog made sense of living with a chronic disease and was a road map for me, especially in new terrain.
    I will return again and again to his archive and remember him as a kind and helpful fellow sufferer. We also shared a huge love of music.
    As I said to a fellow blogger:
    The twinkle in his eye,
    is a twinkle in the sky.
    I shall miss him.
    Barbara in Australia.

     
  21. Clanmother

    September 5, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    Your father touched each of our lives in unique and meaningful ways. In every one of his posts and comments, the joy of life flowed through to our blogging community. His voice will continue to resonate in our lives, reminding us to embrace the abundance of our days, to cherish our family and friends, to build memories for those who follow after us. When my dad passed, this is the thought that came to me….

    “Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.”Rabindranath Tagore

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

     
  22. Jules

    September 6, 2014 at 9:07 am

    So sad to read of Bill’s passing. I so enjoyed reading his blog. It was full of humour and positivity. I emailed with himfor only a short while having been newly diagnosed with COPD. But those emails helped me immensely. I feel blessed to have been able to share that small amount of him. He was clearly a wonderful person. I am glad his last moments were peaceful. My thoughts are with you and all of your family at this time. Much love Jules xx

     
  23. Chatter Master

    September 7, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    I miss you Bill.

     
  24. Barbara Farrelly

    September 7, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Alison, when you’re ready can you tell us about Bill’s memorial Service? What music he choose . . .
    And also I meant to thank Bill for connecting me to special friends like Sheri and Benz and Huntie.
    We will miss him, won’t we girls? Sending love to you all, too.

     
    • benzeknees

      September 8, 2014 at 2:39 am

      We will indeed Barb! We need to “take care” of ourselves, just as Bill would have wished for us.

       
  25. David salt

    September 7, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    Hello Allison,

    so sad about your dad.
    I’m in the early stages of copd (won’t glorify it with capitals) and today came across your dad’s blog: so witty, so humane, so kind: as I read, I felt like I’d known him for years.
    I hope his blog will continue to be made available for we remaining sufferers: he had “big balls” (sorry, don’t know how else to put it) and I will want to avail myself of your dad’s wit and wisdom as I am able to review his writings.

    Kind and respectful wishes,

    David Salt

     
  26. Hanne-Lore

    September 16, 2014 at 4:46 am

    Reblogged this on Hanlo's Blog and commented:
    In memory of my virtual friend and blogger I reblog this. I sorely miss you, Bill

     
  27. Hanne-Lore

    September 16, 2014 at 6:10 am

    My heartfelt condolences to you, Allison and family, You indeed lost a very special person. Thank you for updating us about Bills retirement. It’s a shock I still have to deal with somehow.

     
  28. benzeknees

    September 17, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Allison & family ~ I’m not sure if you are aware of the condolences by his fellow members of Daily Strength. He was very loved in this online support group. http://www.dailystrength.org/c/COPD_Emphysema/forum/19450087-bill-hamilton
    There have been quite a few times in the last couple weeks where something happened & I thought (for a moment) I can’t wait to tell Bill. Then the sadness is once again heightened as I can’t share with him anymore. Your family was indeed blessed by having such a wonderful man in your lives.

     
  29. Harbans

    September 19, 2014 at 3:40 am

    What a memorable and ease in which retirement.has come about. We have to take comfort that those who are born have to one day depart; now or sometimes afterwards is known only to our LORD. And if it is a peaceful departure, it is it is due to our God’s grace. If not, we cannot help it. It is our destiny.

    Thanks for sharing.

     
  30. Clowie

    September 19, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Please accept my condolences.
    I felt he was a friend and I shall miss his cheery comments.

     
  31. Emily Grace

    September 19, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Dear Allison and Family,

    I have thought of Bill often this week. I hadn’t heard anything from him on my blog in a couple of weeks, and though it’s been hectic here, I knew I had to stop and check on him today. I feared the worst, but I also know it’s the best. I will miss him, but I am glad to know he is not hurting.

    Thank you for letting us know with such grace.

    I haven’t followed Bill very long – just since the spring. But he very much encouraged me. I found his playlist to be delightful and a great reminder to celebrate good music and how it gets us moving. Then, I noticed a shift in my mind as I read his thoughts on chronic illness and his choice for word of the week. My Farmer was desperately ill the first year of our marriage. He did recover 95%ish and we have gone on to have a very happy healthy marriage.

    Dealing with illness was not something I expected to do as a 20-something bride. It took reading Bill’s words to realize I had some emotional and psychological work to do. I needed to let those attitudes and perspectives I buried several years ago be massaged out by prayer and meditation prompted by Bill’s courage and forward motion and focus on honesty to the very end. And, so, I’ve done that and been the better, healthier person for it. I don’t fear my Farmer being sick again like I used to. What a beautiful gift – less dread and more spirit – Bill has given me.

    Blessings on your and your family.
    Emily Grace

     
  32. Barbara Franken

    September 20, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Bill… I know you are following all this… was it you that connected with me this week… to let me know that you were sorry not to be able to come and read my latest blog I wrote about September 11th… but it was time for you to leave the physical world and move on. It’s quite funny really, I feel your grand presence even though I know you have passed on… and as IAM editing my book I read…
    ‘Even when our body is no longer alive, we continue to broadcast ourself like we hear in patients with transplanted organs.’

    So Dear Bill, THANKYOU for your wonderful presence in my life, for showing me courage, love and humour… to name but a few… My son continues to enjoy his ‘Heart Space’ daily, where he hangs all his favourite photos, writings and creativity… thanks to you. http://memymagnificentself.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/iam-free-and-enlightened/

    I will miss your physical presence as will all your friends and family… but in our hearts you will be forever, until we all meet again. Enjoy this next chapter in your life and we will all slowly move on with that much more love, courage and humour, thanks to you. Love Barbara x

    p.s. Allison and family… Thankyou for keeping this blog open… maybe not a crazy idea to get his posts published… and bring Bill into more peoples lives… Be brave and allow your dad to carry you through the sad times… Take care, Love Barbara x

     
  33. Chatter Master

    September 23, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    Thinking of you Bill.

     
  34. Cindy

    September 24, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Having just connected with Bill, I was very sad to hear of his passing. He and my husband had so much in common fighting their battles with COPD and both being the perfect Santas with their gray hair, beards, round mid sections and of course their constant smiles and good will. It struck a cord with me that no matter how prepared I think I might be for the retirement of my love one it will still have a profound affect just as your Dad’s passing. It is my loss that I didn’t discover Bill’s blog sooner but I will enjoy reading what he’s written in the past and find comfort. God Bless you and yours. Cindy

     
  35. Rachel T

    October 13, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Please accept my deepest sympathy Allison. His warmth and kindness shone though his writing, and I feel so grateful for having known him. I will miss him very dearly. Take care, Rachel

     
  36. Chatter Master

    October 18, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Hi Bill….thinking about you.

     
  37. Chatter Master

    December 2, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Hi Bill…..thinking about you. 🙂

     
  38. kgbethlehem

    December 5, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    I am very, very sorry for you and your family’s lost. Your father was a cool, hip dude who I greatly enjoyed reading his writings. Peaceful journey Bill to your next adventure..

     
  39. Chatter Master

    December 25, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Merry Christmas Bill.

     
  40. benzeknees

    December 26, 2014 at 3:35 am

    Allison, I was very fond of your father. I still miss him terribly. I hope you have the best Christmas you can.

     
  41. John Norwood

    January 20, 2015 at 12:02 am

    i believe i’m in the late middle stages of copd.

     
  42. Stephanie

    February 3, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    I lost my Grandmother very unexpectedly to COPD this past August. She was diagnosed in March, and I don’t believe she received the best medical advice – or if she did, she ignored it. She passed in her sleep, in her home, peacefully – but alone. It was rough. COPD is a rough disease, and while I miss her terribly, I am grateful that she passed easily without struggle. So sorry for your loss. ❤

     
  43. Laurel

    April 27, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    I was so sorry and sad to hear of Bill’s passing. With that in mind though I am smiling as I write this as that’s what I did when I read Bill’s stories-I smiled. Bill was an amazing human being and I would have never “met” him were it not for the power of the internet and the written word. He was kind, compassionate and a regular supporter of my website and blog. Unfortunately, around the time of Bill’s passing, I experienced an extreme health challenge and wasn’t present online in my usual capacity.

    I know Bill is smiling down on all his loved ones and is no longer in any pain and instead of writing on his blog up there, he is chatting everyone up in the “neighborhood.”

    This quote always offers me comfort during times like this:

    “Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loves ones shine down to let us know they are happy.” Eskimo Legeng

     
  44. hoodedblogger

    July 7, 2015 at 12:17 am

    Dear Allison,
    I am the hooded blogger and im 14 years old.
    I am so sorry for your loss.Your father had always read my blog posts and we’ve had short conversations in my post on the comment sections.He was an amazing writer,Never seen someone that good and wise. Later on i noticed that your father hasn’t posted any blogs for months and hasn’t commented on any of mine when he usually does.I decided to come along in here today and i find myself reading this.It brought me to tears.
    What a tragedy.I had full respect for that man.I want you to know he’s in a better place now.He was brave and filled with courage.God bless him and i wish your family happiness.
    Love,Hooded blogger

     
  45. copd4real

    April 25, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Dear Allison – I never got to read your Dad’s blog while he was alive, but I’m here to tell you that his stories live on as he just came up on my google search, almost 2 years after he passed away.

    Thank you for leaving his legacy up.

    Regards,
    Joanne (a/k/a COPD4real)

     
  46. Melinda Huddleston

    June 10, 2016 at 12:19 am

    Dear Allison, I just recently found your dad’s blog, and am so grateful it’s here. I am so sorry for your loss, and grateful that you continue to share your dad’s warmth through his stories. Thank you!

     
  47. stemcells21

    July 12, 2016 at 4:14 am

    Our COPD stem cell program can greatly benefit patients with a range of lung diseases http://stemcells21.com/copd-stem-cell-tx/

     

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