The last time all seven of us were together at the same time was at my youngest daughter's HS graduation party in 1999. It was our mother's wish that she could see all of her children together at the same time before she died. It worked out that everyone was able to come for the party and make our Mom's wish come true. Three months later she passed away. Rich didn't make it home that time.
Rich had been in a motorcycle accident over 25 years ago. He should have, but did not seek medical attention. He is very much regretting that now. To make a long story short, he sustained a head and back injury that over the years has been debilitating. He suffers from severe headaches, back pain and convulsions. He has long term memory but not short term. He has a depressed skull fracture, where the bone is pressing on his brain. Fragments have been coming apart. About a year ago he needed a cane, and on bad days a walker. He spends most of his days now either in bed or in a wheelchair. He has often wished to die because he cannot take the pain any more. He and his wife Sue have gone to many doctors and have seen two neurologists. Rich needs surgery on his back and on his skull. He needs a metal plate. I'm a little unclear as to why the neurologists won't help him, but it boils down to money, which Rich and Sue don't have. The last neurologist won't even give them the results of tests taken because they claim they haven't been paid in full.
Mid March, John called Jim, Donna, Diane and myself to let us know he was planning a trip to Vegas to see Rich. He had a 'feeling' if he didn't go he might never see Rich again. And of course, he also wanted to see Deb. At the time of the phone call, I wasn't at all sure I'd be able to go but both Jim and Diane said 'yes'. I was determined I would do all I could to go too. This was about the time I started to sell wholesale in a group on Face Book and I was getting orders like crazy. I was afraid I was in over my head, but I did it and was putting my earnings aside for the trip. Within 2 weeks, I had money for my airfare and made my plane reservation. By mid April I had enough saved up for food. John and Jim made plans to stay at the Gold Coast Casino and Deb had room for me, Diane and Donna in her apartment. Three days before I left, my three daughters handed me some cash for an early Mother's Day gift so that I could gamble if I wanted to, or see some shows.
I do get to see Diane and John a few times throughout the year and was really looking forward to seeing the rest of my brothers and sisters. Some of us were 'bigger' and some of us were 'balder' and all of us older. We had such a great time! Rich wasn't able to join us in Vegas, so we took 2 days to travel to Pahrump ( about 60 miles from Vegas) to see him and Sue. The first trip we did a lot of crying and laughing. The second trip was all laughing.
We went to Hoover Dam one day and after visiting Rich the 2nd time, we went to Fremont St. for the 'Fremont Experience'. We had a blast! Stayed there for 6 hours.
It was sad having to say good-bye to Rich. I truly hope this won't be the last time we ever see him. Please keep him in your prayers that he and Sue will be able to find a neurologist with a heart that will put Rich's welfare first instead of his pocketbook.
My sisters: L to R : Diane, Donna, Deb
My brothers: L to R: John, Jim & Rich in front
The Cassidy Clan