James Kramer, Jim, Jimmy, Dad, is the kind of person who would give his last dollar to a stranger in need. To some extent, that is exactly how we have come to this point. He has spent his life paradoxically burdened by the problem of caring too much.
As I write this today, he lies in a hospital bed in St. Joseph’s Hospital in Santa Ana holding on through life support. He has multiple organ failure, including lung disease. He has been in and out of the hospital over the past few months; however, as difficult as this is to say, this is likely to be his last hospitalization. If you are just finding out this news from reading this, please accept my sincerest apologies.
He is accompanied by his wife, Martha, who has loved and cared for him, through thick and thin for the past twelve years. He gave Martha a lot, but she has more than repaid him for that, in a way that none of us could - through boundless compassion and support everyday.
It is our hope that he will pass peacefully, with as little further pain as possible, and in his own time.
Needless to say, it has been difficult on myself and my sister and brothers, now and throughout our lives, but especially now as we struggle to cope with a spectrum of emotions welling up to the surface. The hardest, no doubt, is the constant struggle to reconcile the fond memories we hold of our father from when we were growing up, to where we are now. I am sure this struggle is one that is also felt by the entire, extended family.
No matter the demons my father battled, he has always still been the same person inside. Loving, humble, strong, selfless. He has an unwavering love for his family and being so far away from all of his loved ones over the past years has certainly had a significant impact on his life.
As the oldest in the family, I had the opportunity to spend more quality time with my father growing up than my siblings. For this I am most grateful. I have also been fortunate to be able to visit with him and Martha during my business travels back to the US over the past seven years. I am glad to have been granted the extra time with my father.
At this time, there are many thoughts and memories running over in my mind, but the one thing I keep coming back to are the lessons my father taught me and instilled in me in my youth. One of those lessons, or two closely linked, are about honor and respect.
Honor: knowing and doing what is morally right.
Respect: a way of treating or thinking of someone that shows you have regard for their rights, wishes or position.
How many lectures on honor and respect did I sit through in my childhood years? I lost count. But they worked.
So today, I am asking you to please help me show my father the honor and respect that he deserves.
There are many ways you can express your feelings and also help our family in this time of need.
One way would be by visiting Jim. He is in MICU at St. Joseph Hospital Orange, 1100 W Stewart Dr, Orange, CA 92868, USA
I ask that you refrain from calling the hospital for further information unless you are making plans to visit, as it is better that the nurses are free to care for him and the other patients rather than be inundated with calls. I am more than happy to answer any questions or just talk. I know I am far away, but with today’s modern technology, you can reach me in many ways. Use this campaign to message me and we can go from there.
Another way to show support would be to contact any of my siblings to send condolences and say hello - let’s face it, it has probably been awhile and I am sure they would love to hear from you. Please message me via this campaign for their contact information.
Alternately, St. Joseph Hospital Orange has, hands down, provided us with the absolute best, personalised support and health care throughout this time. I can't find words to express how efficient, professional and caring they have been. To say I am impressed would be an understatement. Any show of thanks to this hospital, whether a simple thank you over the phone, a gift or a contribution to a cause they support would be most welcome.
And finally, your financial contribution is much needed. It pains me to ask this of you, but it may come as no surprise that my father had no plans in place for his end of life. Unfortunately, at this time, neither myself, nor my siblings are in a position to carry the enormous cost of even a humble tribute to our father.
The cost for me to travel home from New Zealand is approximately $3,800. And, after much research, I have determined the approximate (and lowest) costs of the appropriate after arrangements (to be held in St. Louis) around $9,600. (I have done my best to plan for what I feel would be right by him and the family, I don't feel it is appropriate to go into detail here; however, please contact me if you wish to discuss or assist).
Of course, we will be pooling our own resources and doing the best we can to cover these inevitable costs. We will do this through this campaign as well, so that we can all see where we are at in achieveing the goal.
Your gracious contribution will ensure that Jim is able to be with his loved ones once again and will be bestowed with the same honor and respect that he held for all of us and strived to teach to others in this life.
If, by some miracle, the goal set forth here is surpassed, a donation will be made in his name to The C Three Foundation. A foundation with a simple solution that had the ability to save Jim’s life, but one which we didn’t find out about until it was too late.
Please take a moment to have a look, as it could save someone else: https://www.cthreefoundation.org/home.html
Thank you all for reading and contributing.
- Karl & Lori Schultz
- Mary Ann DiCarlo
- Maureen Butler
- Bob Faust
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