Hello. It has been a much needed week and a half away from here and communicating with you all. The outpouring of support and respect paid to Hal has been nothing short of breathtaking.
Dad’s cremation has been taken care of and he will be laid to sea on Friday June 8 from San Pedro. We willnotbe going or participating, but we are doing two memorial services for Dad.
The Las Vegas Memorial is Wed, June 13, 2012 at 3:00 PM at Temple Sinai 9001 Hillpointe Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89134. Dad met with the Rabbi while he was in hospice and shared information with him and gave some insight in to who he was and what he wanted shared at a memorial. Our family was there with him for the meeting, so the service should be lovely.
The Los Angeles Memorial is Friday, June 22, 2012 at 11:00am at the CMC (California Market Center), 110 E. 9th St. Lobbylevel Theater, Los Angeles, Ca 90079. Dad’s life was lived for the most part in LA and the Mart was his home base for more than 40 years. We are looking forward to seeing our family as well as friends and colleagues from all aspects of his life at this service.
Our family is asking that in lieu of flowers contributionsbe made to : Cedars Sinai Medical Center (CSMC)Fashion Industries Guild in memory of Hal Kaltman at www.fashionindustriesguild.orgl . Donation envelopes will be available at the memorial in Los Angeles.
We have several people scheduled to speak in honor of Hal, but there will be time at the end of each memorial for a few words.
We cannot thank you all enough for your care for our father, brother, uncle, grandfather, cousin, friend… our Hal.
I am not even sure how to express the odd combination of sadness and relief I feel in sharing the news that my dad, Hal Kaltman, passed away this morning. We got the call shortly after 5:00am that he had gone to sleep for the last time.
Many phone calls have been made, but if you are reading it here first, then I apologize for the impersonal manner in which you are learning of Dad’s passing.
This last adventure with dad started 4 weeks ago today with a trip to the ER for what we all assumed was pneumonia. What we then experienced, reveled in and endured over the next 4 weeks was nothing short of astonishing.
Dad left this place knowing he was loved and making sure he left you all knowing the same thing. When I had my final goodnight with dad, I expressed that while he lost this battle, it was clear he had won the war leaving behind a legacy of love and it would be noted and known that he went down swinging.
As we requested last night, please take a moment to leave a comment with how you knew Dad, what he want to you and a one word descriptor for him. We will use this info at his memorial services.
There will be services held in both LA and Vegas. Details will be posted here in the next day or two.
Thank you all for your love and support of our Hal.
Tonight’s update is not far off from last night. Dad spent the day sleeping, we think. There were plenty of times his eyes were open, but he was less than responsive. Every once in a while a raised eye or a furrowed brow communicated a little something, but overall Hal was pretty nonparticipatory today.
Since this was such a mellow “update” I’m going to take advantage of this captive audience – see Hal’s daughter all the way.
When dad is no longer with us, we will be having a couple of memorial services. Karyn and I were thinking that it would be nice to use some of the comments from here in some way. We were talking about how many facets of dad’s life are represented in the comments section here so here is our request:
Please leave us a note and let us know how you know Hal, what he has meant to you and if you are so inclined a single word to describe him.
Thank you all in advance and we look forward to sharing this info with dad!
Ken writing today.
Today was a rough one for us. Hal was asking for more pain medication, so we called hospice had they upped his dosage of Dilaudid. They tell us it’s stronger than morphine.
Other than that, the Hospice CNA was in today and cleaned him up and gave him a shave. He seems more alert in the mornings, and drinking water is getting more and more difficult.
Sorry for the brevity, but it’s late and we are both really, really tired. More tomorrow.
We can start with the business of this business and I will say that today was an odd day, if not a bit disturbing. This morning found Hal kind of coherent but rambling about things I could not understand. That was followed by some pain which was followed by some really good drugs. When I returned for our evening visit dad was sawing logs so I sat quietly and watched.
He has lost considerable weight to the point that just past his rib cage there is a discernible dip where his ample belly used to be. His hair is still thick, curly and black; for anyone wondering. As the evening wore on, though, dad was restless and uncomfortable. We bolused his meds when necessary, but it was just a general sense of unrest that colored this visit.
He was developing distinct breathing, or not breathing, patterns and was asleep, snoring with his eyes open when we left.
Now, the funny part. As we have shared, some of dad’s conversations have been interesting to say the least. Well, today was no different. As I was leaving this morning, dad asked that I stop at the store for him on my way back. Then in the middle of that, he said, “man I love this.” He went back to his store request and paused, as he frequently does. Then out of nowhere he says, “boobs. Big boobs.” I nearly lost it. I asked, dad, do you want a six pack of big boobs. He said no, clarifying that he was referring to me and then asked for soda from the store without skipping a beat.
It was too funny not to share and I hope you got a smile out if it like I did.
I have to be honest, at the beginning of this last week we did not think Hal would make it through the week. Then he rallied on Wed and Thur and we knew he was hanging on. Uncle Larry suggested that perhaps he was hanging on until the 20th as that is the anniversary of his mother’s passing. That would be today.
Yesterday’s lack of decline or improvement for that matter lead us away from that thought; though how wonderful would it be to be going HOME with your mother on such a remarkable date.
We got to Dad at 11 today to find him sleeping, and that is pretty much how he stayed until we left tonight. There were fleeting moments where he would open his eyes asking for water, but for the most part he slept today.
Pain seems to be relatively under control, though he grimaces from time to time in his slumber. At those times we give him a little extra medication. We will speak to the doctor about this tomorrow. Pain is not an option.
As always we appreciate your love and support of Hal, Hesh, Big Guy, Dad, Papa or whomever he is to you.
Sorry for the delay in yesterday’s update. We spent the day with dad, which consisted of him sleeping intermittently and enjoying a visitor or two. Actually, he slept through two of his visitors but got the chance for a little hello with Rosalie.
Dad has clearly gone back to a place away from here more often than not; he even let us know his cousin Bernice (long passed) had called and was coming for a visit. Dad is experiencing more pain with movement, so we diligently kept on top of that and worked with the nursing staff.
At this point it feels a lot like we are in limbo, never more so than yesterday (sat). There was no further decline nor was there any improvement. It continues to be a one day, minute, memory at a time thing.
Ken and I will be heading over this morning for the day and I will update again tonight. I hope you all have a great Sunday.
Dad and I were reviewing his love notes from the last few days and he wanted to say, “I have received all your well wishes and loving support and please be patient ; I am not ignoring you. All the notes and messages mean the world to me and I will hold them in my heart. “
I believe he still does not fully comprehend what is happening, but he does understand how much he is loved.
Today, I am more convinced than ever that the last few days were a rally. We have ventured back to a land of police men, protection and running business. He wants to get up and got out for dinner as well as make the necessary “calls” to ensure the hotel gets a 4/star rating.
This has indeed been an adventure. Thank you all for your care, concern and participation. And off we go…
Dad’s rally appears to have continued today. We came into his room this morning to find him freshly bathed and sitting up talking with the aide. He is drinking copious amounts of water and while he was still a little loopy, he was definitely alert and communicating.
This evening’s visit was ever more fruitful. He was awake and pretty much with me in the here and now. He was asking some questions and obviously unaware that 2weeks have passed. He talked about how much it means to have the out pouring of love he has received — I read him stuff from here– and how relationships like these do not come along often.
I would be remiss to not reiterate that this appears to be a rally. His heart is still beating strong, but with some irregularity, he is still not eating and there are signs that some of his systems are shutting down. It is hard not to get hopeful in these moments, but I keep reminding myself that he is not recovering or getting better. These tumors are not going anywhere… Sigh.
In the meantime we are enjoying the moments of clarity and accepting them for what they are. This is the Hal we all know and love.
Good night until to tomorrow.
Well the last few days have definitely been full of surprises. When Ken and I got to the SNF this morning, there was Hal, eyes open and kind of responsive. He was complaining of pain, but we got that taken care of.
While Ken and I were working today, Hal had several visitors — my mother in law, Rosalie, and his case manager. By the time I got back I expected him to be out cold — not so much.
Dad was awake and talking with me. Granted, he was ordering me to order manned police cars on every corner in NYC at the change of each shift. But at the end of the day, dad had a couple of quiet moments and some semblance of cognizant conversation.
I’m not sure if this is a “rally” before a final decline or what, but it was nice to see a smirk on his face. one day at a time.
Hope everyone gets some peace of mind from this. I’ll fill you all in again tomorrow.