But In The End, She Died

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I had given up on my spiritual goal and philosophical ideas. I was content just to have an executive position in Manufacturing. But one day, I had an opportunity to attend a seminar on the works of Sigmund Freud at a university nearby. I was re-energized and, with the encouragement of a professor friend at the university, was inspired to enroll in a Humanities Ph.D. program, for which I would receive credits from my degree from the University of Vienna. My senior advisor and thesis supervisor steered me towards a study of the Natural Law and Religion of Samuel Pufendorf (1632-1694). My professor was interested in having me study and comment on a recent volume produced by Horst Denzer, a scholar at the University in Munich, whose published thesis on Samuel Pufendorf’s moral philosophy and the birth of Natural Law was only available in German. It was a major undertaking. The thesis, double-spaced but with single-spaced footnotes, consisted of 452 pages; I was told that it should not have exceeded 300. I completed my studies and writing while I still held a full-time job. I graduated in 1991 at the age of 66.

However, this second Ph.D. did not advance my spiritual and creative goal. It was not until my darling wife fell seriously ill in 2012 that events began to lead me towards that end. She was diagnosed with intestinal cancer and underwent a successful operation, but with the doctor’s recommendation to be absolutely sure, she submitted to a course of chemotherapy. The first month’s treatment was far too strong, for sensitive Geraldine had never taken any drugs before. The doctor claimed that her reaction to the treatment was ten times stronger than he had witnessed in any other patient. Subsequent treatments were drastically reduced to a milder dosage. But then, her doctor left for an extended vacation and left Geraldine’s treatment to be performed without his supervision. Before the third month, Geraldine told to me that a particular nurse was going to kill her. She must have given Geraldine the original dosage again. Geraldine had to be hospitalized and when the doctor returned, he was sorry that he had been unavailable to intervene on her behalf, but gave us the good news that the cancer had been eliminated from her system. Well, I can only say today that, although the chemotherapy may have killed all the cancer cells, it also destroyed her immune system. Within six months her lungs were invaded and, subsequently, her brain. She died at home on March 16, 2013.

It was the end of her life and, I felt at the time, the end of mine.

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