Tag Archives: death

Esther R. Schiveley, 10/12/17-10/14/07

Me and my grandma

Grandma and I, Mother’s Day 2006.

Editor’s note. The following is the obituary I wrote for my grandma, who died Sunday, October 14, 2007, two days after her 90th birthday.

Esther Schiveley

Esther Rodriguez Schiveley passed away Sunday, October 14, 2007 at Windsor Gardens Rehabilitation Center of Salinas. She was surrounded by more than 50 family members and friends. Moments after minister Tom Salas read the 46th Psalm, she drew her last breath and went home to be with the Lord. She celebrated her 90th birthday just two days earlier. Continue reading



Filed under family, Grandma, Salinas

They’ll come for you, too


Editor’s note: the following post is taken from a journal entry from Thursday, Oct. 4, 2007. I previously typed 2005, so the events described happened two days ago, not two years ago.

Tomorrow morning at 10, my family will gather to pray. They will [then] go to my grandmother’s apartment to tell her that they have decided to move her in a nursing home that they have already selected and reserved for her. It’s a formality. A painful formality but a formality. It isn’t a suggestion or a request. It is more along the line of “We regret to inform you,” only without the shield of anonymity. The receiver of the message in this case is indeed known to the messengers.

She won’t last long in the nursing home. My mother said my grandmother’s blood pressure dropped to 83 over 30 earlier today, although her vitals have been very good up to this point. My mom is heartbroken. She does not want to put my grandmother in a home, but she is also physically unable to care for my grandmother at her apartment or to relocate my grandmother to my mother’s home. She can’t lift my grandmother, at least not several times per day. Collectively, the family is tired. My grandmother now requires around-the-clock care for activities she proudly performed herself less than a year ago, in that faraway land before the stroke induced falls trapped her in her body and confined her to her bed and sofa.

When did life get so hard? Continue reading


Filed under Grandma, Salinas

The short and long good-bye

I know that my Redeemer lives,

and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.

26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;

27 I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!

Job 19:25-27 NIV


Friday found me in Salinas, where I attended the funeral of a dear childhood friend’s grandfather. For those who didn’t know him, Johnny Camera was one cool cat. There was a moving and yet quite funny DVD presentation of him at the funeral chapel.

The pictures showed a man who served in combat in Okinawa and elsewhere in the Pacific Theater as an Army enlisted man during World War II, earning a Purple Heart. The pictures also showed a man who loved his wife, children and grandchildren.

Photo after photo showed him on fishing trips with his family. Another black-and white photo showed a young, muscular Johnny lifting his baby in the air with one hand. Continue reading

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Filed under family, friends, Spreckels