but the big e-mail landed in my box this evening. Composed by half-sister Shelagh who has been helping the family and running interference for them during this very difficult time.
John was the sole heir to a large lumber fortune, and while his business plans didn't generate the return he had expected, he was still very wealthy and well situated. Consequently when disaster struck two weeks ago, he was taken to a good private hospital where he was treated to the best of their abilities and then was transferred to a good Palliative Care facility.
I didn't expect the e-mail to open the way it does, and I certainly didn't have any input in its creation.
"This is the offcial email from the kids regarding John's passing. I have to say the past week was rough, the US medical system is awful compared to what we've experienced in Ontario but once he was in Hospice, it didn't matter. Like Mum, he floated in dream world and slowly just passed away."
The Mum referred to was John's birth mother married to John's Dad who was a B-29 pilot lost on one of those long distance missions. She was a Canadian and one of Sir William Stephenson's agents, working first in the head office in the Empire State Building, Then subsequently in Guatemala keeping track of Nazi agents causing trouble down there. She was tall and quite remarkably beautiful, with a great presence and a wonderful sense of humour which John apparently inherited.
The peculiar thing is that when the War ended, and she returned to her home and family in Canada, and re-married, John's Grandparents sued for custody of the boy, and won finally in the State Supreme Court. The statements and allegations in the court case were straight out of a Hollywood tear-jerker.
After the war was over Janet returned to Toronto and married a Toronto doctor educated at Cambridge, England and Johns Hopkins who served throughout the war on a Canadian destroyer primarily doing convoy duty. He later became the Dean of Canadian Allergists having essentially established the field in Canada beginning in 1946.
Among the things alleged in the law suit was that Dr. Fitz was a foreigner, educated in England, and a man who knew Jazz Musicians. He was no more foreign that Janet was. Yes, he was educated in England and at Johns Hopkins, and he did know Jazz Musicians. Who'd have thought that would be grounds for taking a child away from its Mother.?
The point here however is the comment about even really good, expensive, California Hospitals as being worse than the average Canadian hospital, where everyone is covered just the same. Those hospitals that the Republican Noise Machine tell you have years long waiting lists and which don't treat people as well as American Hospitals do (despite the fact that even with the ACA, not everyone is covered).
I didn't expect John to get sick and die,and I certainly didn't expect to receive this statement from Shelagh. It is an unsolicited and unexpected look at Good Quality, Expensive, California Health Care by someone who has lived all her life here in Toronto, but because of family connections is equally familiar with the US.
Don`t dismiss it because it`s inconvenient or you don`t like it. It`s an informed Point of View.
Note: This post was edited by a forum moderator to edit out information per member's request on 10/15/2013 at 9:03 AM PT