i am married to my soulmate and love of my life jan. how and why she's stayed with me i don't question anymore, i just thank God that she has, she's my everything. i'm the father of 6 children, 1 step daughter, 4 from my 1st marriage and one with my wife. our oldest is 33 and the youngest is 13. melinda(33), joshua(29), sarah(27), rachel(25), Jacob(d.2004@16), and lyndan(13). i have 6 grandchildren so far, melinda has 4, zachary(13), adam(12), makayla(9) and gracie(5) joshua has a stepchild with his wife misty, matthew(2) and rachel has 1, jackson(2). no telling how many more i'll have.
i was 45 and had terminal end-stage liver failure. i needed a transplant to regain a semi-normal life. i was responding to medications and proceedures that i had in the last 5 years so i was too healthy for transplant, that was subject to change on a moments notice and it did. i was transplanted on 10/12/10. i developed pulmonary hypertension in 2009 due to the liver and that treatment put me into high risk and pushed me up the list. at 3:00 am on 10/12/10 i recieved a phone call to get to the hospital in twenty minutes they had my liver. my wife called the ambulance was called while i was still on the phone with the nurse.
6 times in the past 5 years i've been given a less than 10 percent chance of living to leave the hospital. people ask how i got this way, simply put, i am an alcoholic(sober 5 years; 1 day, 1 hour, 1 min, hell even 1 second at a time) i drank way too much for way too long, and fried my liver to death. towards the end of my illustrious drinking campaign, i was drinking between 6 & 12 longneck beers a day, and 1 to 2 quarts of rot gut 100 proof vodka a day. not my drink of choice, but cheap and strong. it worked...all day drunk and numb, liver ko'd. mission accomplished. so now here i am a freshman again and loving it, so that if/when i recover i will have a new career. i spend as much time as i can with my immediate family, especialy the young ones so that they'll know me if something bad happens. my loving wife has been through hell and heaven taking care of me. i know that it's been hard for her, and i know that i couldn't have gotten here without her. i also know that she believes in me and that something good will come out of my situation. i have come to know that dying is a very personal, natural and liberating experience, i don't have time or patience to waste on inanities, or unchangable people or situations. i can be more open and giving, more real with my fealings, beliefs, and gifts than i thought i'd be. i don't fear death, so how can i fear anything of lesser importance; failure, embarassment, foolishness, public speaking, judjments, negativity; these things mean nothing now. i have accepted the reality of my own mortality. i'm not ready to go yet, i have so much i yet hope to do, but i've prepared as i am able. i'm not a fan(i actualy hate the commercials) but i'm like the energizer bunny "i just keep going, and going" i do have some regrets, i wish that i had been a better person before i got ill. and i especially have regrets at the person i became the last 2-3 years of my drinking. i mostly regret that i may not get to see my son and grandchildren grown. 2 years ago i put my affairs in order; drew up a will, a living will, power of attorney for my wife, and final determination of my remains(donated to u of l medical school). i know that you are all young and are going to live forever, but these are things that adults must one day have to deal with.