06 January 2022

The Tragic loss of my cousin Mary Folk

 


Mary Irene Elizabeth Folk
(7th February 1957 - 5th January 2022)

It is such sad news.  My second-cousin, Mary, died yesterday.  Mary was born with cerebral palsy.  She endured many operations trying to help her legs, leaving her unable to bend her knees and ankles.  She was independent lady, who saw the loss of three brothers, one her twin, and a sister over the years.  Her father, a vet who served in Vietnam, died in the 1990s.  Then her mother, Jewel was lost over a silly accident--a stubbed toe that caused a secondary bone infection, which eventually claimed her life.  Her younger brother, Richie, broke his back in a diving accident when he was in his teens and was left a quadriplegic.  Mary helped care for him until his death.  

So many times, so many turns, life was not kind to Mary.  She walked with a cane, but kept her mobility until a bad fall several years ago.  At that time I began a campaign to get Mary to move from Corona California, where she lived most of her life, to be closer to me.  I tried to help her make plans to sell her house, and help her buy a home here.  I didn't like her being alone.  She refused flatly, citing she had better medical benefits in California and not wanting to lose them.  I tried for months to change her mind, but Mary could be quite stubborn when she chose.  I think, in truth, she didn't want to leave her home, because the cemetery where where beloved brother, mother and step-father was just across the street from her home.  She couldn't leave them.

  She began to have a problem with her ankle, it split open and the wound wouldn't heal.  Another bout in the hospital to help heal that brought another specter -- she caught Covid while in the hospital.  She seemed to recover, but she was never back to normal.  From that point she stopped walking.  As of late, she was confided to her bed, with a caregiver coming daily to aid her. 

Somehow, a fire started behind the hospital style bed.  Mary had no escape.  The fire department reached her, but she was horribly burned by then.  They took her to the hospital where she died later that day.  After barely escaping a house fire myself, I shudder at the nightmare way this kind soul was lost. 

Life was never kind to Mary.  It seems death was not either.  I am in shock.  She was the kindest person, so full of laughter and love.  No matter what life threw at her, she was always laughing and looking for the bright side of things.  Life is never fair, but for Mary it seems so cruel.

Words cannot express the deep sorrow within me...



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