- Percy Pringle III - Paul Bearer
- Since 2005, and over 800 entries, the orginal purpose of this BLOG has never changed. I consider it to be a personal letter from me to my extended family of fans, supporters, and friends. I ALWAYS encourage your emails, comments, suggestions, and questions. Be Blessed! ~Percy
Sunday, January 31, 2010
January 31, 2009 was on a Saturday last year. It was a beautiful, sunny, fairly warm day. I had directed one of the largest funerals from my funeral home to-date at a local Catholic Church. Following a disagreement at the cemetery with a self-rightous, holier-than-thou, money hungry, high dollar mausoleum peddler (you can tell I love the guy); I was ready to go home and enjoy what was left of my weekend. Driving home, something told me to call my son Michael and tell him to bring grand-daughter Grace over that afternoon to visit with Dianne. Her time with our sons, their wives, and our grand-daughters was so special to her. You could see the sparkles in her eyes when she was with them. I recall Gracie sitting in her lap, and even the final kiss Dianne gave her. Everytime Dianne kissed Grace, she would ask her, "You know what?" and they would both say "I Love You" to each other at the same time.
Her pain seemed to be tolerable after the visit, although I was concerned that the drugs were having an effect on her mind, as she was sluggish, and slurring her words a bit. But at that point, it was a good trade-out for the tremendous pain of the past few months. I fixed us some dinner, although I don't remember what it was. We watched TV in our matching maroon La-z-boy recliners, with our three dachshunds at our sides as always.
At 8:30 pm, I got a call from the funeral home. I had to leave to go pick up a deceased person from a hospital and transport them to the funeral home. As so many times before, I got dressed, and made sure she was comfortable. She wanted a couple of popcicles, as the oxygen and medications gave her "cotton mouth". I told her to keep track of what and how much pain medication she took and left her a pad and pencil on the table next to her chair. I gave her a kiss, and told her I would be back between 11 and 11:30, and was out the door.
I pulled into the driveway around 11:25 pm, and my nightmare began. It was Mardi Gras season, as it is right now, and we had a Mardi Gras wreath on our front door, which hangs on the door as I type today. When I opened the front door, for the first time ever, the wreath fell down at my feet. As I bent over to pick it up, I thought it was funny that the dogs didn't bark, and I didn't hear Dianna say anything.
I hung the wreath back up, and as I completely opened the door I saw her in her chair. I knew immediately that she was gone.
The activities of the next few minutes still seem surreal. I guess it was my experience in death care for so many years, and the fact that we had been together for over 30-years, that told me she was dead before I even touched her. She was peacefully "asleep" in her chair, with both hands resting on each chair arm. It was so obvious to me that there wasn't any struggle whatsoever, something I still find solace in to this very day, and it will comfort me for the rest of my life.
The popcicles I had given her, were melted and unwrapped on the chair table. The pad and pencil lay on the floor next to her, and she had written... January 31st... February 1st... on it. I have no doubt that she died probably within an hour after I had left. Our three sausage dogs were snuggled at her feet, silent and motionless.
Considering I had assisted so many families as a Funeral Director in this same circumstance, my mind was a blank and few a few seconds I didn't know what to do. I called 9-1-1, sat next to her and held her hand until the paramedics arrived. I had to pull each dog away from her feet one by one, growling (something they never do to me) and carry them to another room, they didn't want to leave her. The first responders did their thing, and confirmed what I already knew. The love of my life would never suffer again.
I called my parents, the police went to my oldest son's house and told him to come over. I called our priest and he came and blessed her body and we prayed together. I called a funeral director friend, and he and his assistants arrived to do what they do.
I was so relieved when her cancer doctor told the police that she would sign her death certificate, an autopsy wasn't necessary. That was the last thing I wanted to happen after all of the medical problems she had through the years. Then they carried her away...
Her visitation was on February 4th, and her Mass of Christian Burial was at our Church on Feburary 5th. She was buried at my youngest brother's right side, who himself had died from cancer two years before.
I really don't know why I made this one-year anniversary of her a death a personal milestone for myself. But, I have... and I made it, notwithstanding the love and support from The Good Lord, my family, and friends. Until they lay me next to her in the Alabama red clay, I will always remember this date.
About two weeks after she died, her onocologist called me and said she wanted to share something with me that might ease my mind. She said that she sat down and reviewed the results of Dianna's bloodwork that she had done on that Thursday prior. She explained that there was no doubt that cancer had returned and had invaded her entire body.
Later today, I will go to the cemetery and put some beautiful new flowers on her grave and sit with her for awhile. As Alan Jackson's "Sissy's Song" rings in my mind for the millionth time...
it may have well been called "Dianna's song".
Friday, January 29, 2010
Although Dianna didn’t pass away until January 31st, today brings back so many vivid memories for me. I have been calling this my “IF DAY”. What IF my Dianna had medical insurance, would she still be with us?
You see one of the major problems of living the life of the glitz and glamour of professional wrestling is medical insurance. They call us independent contractors, which we certainly weren't. Thusly, social security, income tax, retirement, and medical insurance are ours to bear 100%. Post cancer, every penny I had earned and saved working on top of the WWF/WWE went to her care, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way as she was more important to me than life itself.
When Dianna was first diagnosed with breast cancer in the early 2000’s, we were caught without medical insurance. After that, it was impossible to get because of preexisting conditions. Are you following me?
Five years later, cancer was found in her other breast. There we were again, notwithstanding her many other medical maladies, such as diabetes, COPD, etc. So… in August of 2008, she started getting sick again, primarily with trouble breathing, and severe pain, in her back and rib area. We were going to a clinic that cared for the uninsured, and had co-pay based on our income. Nothing against the physicians there, as they were and remain wonderful professionals; their care was somewhat limited.
They treated her for the pain and breathing problems, which only got worse with time. By December, she couldn’t even sleep in bed, she had to sit in a chair, was on oxygen 24/7, and when she was able to move she had to use a walker. She wouldn’t let anybody help her but me; she would sit in that chair all day without going to the bathroom waiting for me to get home from work.
The clinic doctor decided that maybe she should go to a orthopedic specialist, but before that maybe a trip back to her oncologist would be in order first. So an appointment was made on this very day, 365-days ago, with her cancer doctor who we love dearly.
I will never forget that day (IF I ONLY KNEW WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN IN 48-HOURS). I got her into the car, every bump and turn caused her so much pain. I had to use a wheelchair to get her into the cancer doctor’s office. Remember this doctor, had treated her from her very first battle with cancer, and we knew her well. As soon as she saw Dianna, I could see it in her eyes. She immediately called for a nurse to start an IV of morphine. She told Dianne that she was not leaving her office until she was pain free.
The first IV didn’t relieve the pain, so she gave her another round of morphine, and did some blood work (results of which I'll talk about in my Sunday's blog). She explained to us that she was going to schedule Dianne for a PET scan (Positron Emission Tomography), which is a type of nuclear medicine imaging. This would tell us if there was any kind of cancer in her body. The scan was set for early the next week; and she gave her a prescription for morphine and muscle relaxers.
On the way home she held my hand and was smiling, she was pain free for the first time in months. We played hell finding a pharmacy to fill the morphine script, but finally found one; and we drove through Taco Bell for some take-home supper.
Little did we know what the future had in store for us on January 31st.
What IF… What IF we had had insurance… her care would have been different… and she would be with me this very day.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Here's the link:
Join us if you can.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
I am going to make this short and to the point.
The GULF COAST WRESTLER REUNION (GCWR) is a professional gathering of those retired from our industry, or current participants. Unlike our brother and sisterhood in The CAC, it is not open to fans. Once again, The GCWR IS NOT a fan festival. As much as we treasure our supporters, it is a closed event, for professionals only.
This will be our 19th year, with hundreds of professionals from all points of the globe attending. Our 2010 event will be on March 5th & 6th, in Mobile, Alabama.
I have been honored to be on the board of directors for several years now, and contrary to some beliefs, I DO NOT have any say-so of who can come, and who cannot come. It is simple... if you were, or are currently a pro wrestler, manager, referee, or promoter, you are welcome. I can promise you, if you come once, you will return every year.
We DO NOT have a website, and we DO NOT use our membership as a draw. In other words, we are one of the few true "kayfabe" gatherings left in the business; and we frown on those who try to use us for something we do not intend to be. If you are a true professional, understanding this position should be a simple one for you.
New applicants WILL be screened at the door.
You may download an application at this link, fill it in, and mail it to the address provided along with your extremely resonable membership fee.
2010 GCWR APPLICATION
Friday, January 08, 2010
Thursday, January 07, 2010