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Sweetie and Pop’s Amazing Adventure by Mike McHale

Jean, my wife of 47 years, soul mate and best friend, passed away on November 14, 2015, at home, surrounded by her boys. We can’t say she lost a battle because it wasn’t a fair fight; the outcome was pre-ordained once she was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, on April 29, 2014. The only question was how we would deal with this devastating, and inevitably fatal, disease during whatever time we had left. Jean won the battle because, in spite of losing her ability to swallow, speak, walk, and ultimately breathe, we had an amazing year and a half. She worked nearly fulltime in her interior design business, enjoyed her kids and grandchildren, entertained friends and family, loved concerts and parties and lived life to the fullest. She had a smile for everyone. We enjoyed three cruises, including a 17-day trip across the Atlantic, visited 21 foreign cities, 9 U.S. cities that we had never experienced before, and drove thousands of miles to visit friends and family. Jean and her electric scooter were a sight to behold as we traveled the world; the hills of Rome and the cobblestones of Barcelona were no match for this

Jean McHale determined pair. And, Jean and her scooter were a familiar sight on the streets of Easton. People would constantly call or e-mail, amazed that she was headed off somewhere, just a woman and her scooter. The reaction was universally reproving ~ “You let her go by herself?” Those of us in the know, knew that I had absolutely no voice in the matter. After Jean died, one of my first resolutions was to find a dog; I needed a companion to continue developing my caregiver skills. Through a close friend, I was introduced to Sweetie, a 7-year-old Chocolate Lab who was being 39

June 2016 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times June 2016

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