Monday, April 12, 2010

Update on Burdette Houser (BHS '66)

Received the following emails on Friday while traveling, so I am sorry for the late post. Please keep Burdette in your thoughts and prayers and if possible, give him a visit.

I just sent this to my '66 classmates:


I was out of town last week when Pam Zipfel Kirkwood '64 sent me this:

Hi All,
I just thought I would send this note out to some of you who are friends of Burdette Houser's '66...
I was just over to see Burdette Houser today, I had made him some chocolate chip cookies that he loves so much. Unfortunately, I waited a little too long to get them to him...He's not good. He is down to 107 lbs. He can no longer swallow. They are nourishing him with IV fluids. They have stopped all of the chemo treatments and a hospice doctor was supposed to come by today to assess him today...
He is such a "Brave Little Bulldog". God Bless Him...

Although Burdette has defied all odds so far, if you have been thinking about calling or visiting Burdette, I think maybe you better do it fairly soon. He looks pretty frail. He has a large tumor in his stomach now...I guess, that is what has affected the swallowing reflex... Pam

I never knew Burdette in high school. Spoke to him for the first time at the 40th at the Castaway. The last time I saw him was the our 42nd Reunion 1 1/2 years ago during the BHS Centennial, when he was wheelchaired in by an LVN friend to join us under the tent.

So I was nervous about going to see him. And I was totally unprepared for what 107 lbs looks like when I visited him Friday afternoon: like an Auschwitz survivor. He has good hearing, still enjoyed listening to the Dodgers game, but difficulty talking, and his eyes were closed most of the time. He's being kept "comfortable".

As Pam says, if you have been thinking about visiting him (calling him probably wouldn't be a good idea any more), don't procrastinate. He wants visitors. He was very appreciative.

I've definitely revised my thinking about visiting people who are "terminal": stop being reluctant and give the gift of a little time to just sit and BE with them. Small talk unnecessary.

You know you're getting old when something like this makes you wonder who's going to come visit YOU.

Sorry for my down tone. I didn't expect this visit to affect me the way it did.

In case you need it, Burdette's info is:
Chandler Convalescent 818-240-1610
525 S. Central, Rm 26-A
Glendale, CA 91204
Burdette's telephone 818-312-7053


Linda (Schuster) Mazur
Pasadena, CA

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