My father was lost to cancer in 1996.His name was Francis Jerome McMahon.He was very strong, a metal fabricator,an artist,a master fly fisherman,and he could build flintlock rifles from scratch.He taugh me a great many things.I was much like a Padawan Jedi learner,lol!But in his younger years he was a hellacious drinker and smoked at least two packs of cigarettes a day.Well the drinking continued off and on but the smoking got worse.Later on and this must have been when he first noticed symptoms,he started to smoke marijuana.In 1995 he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He was put under cemotherapy and later radiation treatments.But the cancer then spread to his throat.The radiation treatments did terible things to his brain.This man who had an IQ of over 120 was reduced to the intelligence of a child.His wieght which was close to 200 pounds was reduced to 90 pounds.His hair was gone and he couldn't keep down food.Later on because we could not take care of him any longer we had to put him in a nursing home which was one of the hardest decisions we had to make.There must have been some wisdom left in that brain because when we told him this he began to cry.But he wasnt there long on Aug 15,1996 as he lay in bed the nurse asked him if he wanted a drink of water.He said yes .When she came back he was gone.
We buried him a few days later in St.Patricks Cemetary(at least he was surrounded by Irishmen).The VA donated a headstone and we still have his flag.His headstone is engraved with one of his favorite things to do,a man fishing.
In 2006 my sister Jackie was found dead of alcohol poisoning on a park bench in St.Pual,Minnesota.She is now buried next to Dad.
Im glad I never started to smoke.