My parents died a few weeks apart in 2002. They had just sold their place in Floyd County, Virginia and moved to Carlsbad, New Mexico. About three weeks after moving into their new home my mother had a massive stroke. She died a few hours after I arrived at the hospital. Everyone said she held on for me. I spoke to her the night before the stroke, her last words to me were of love. We were best friends. My dad was diagnosed with metastatic Bladder Cancer about a month later. We spent those last few weeks talking and sharing and laughing — some people say the Cancer “took him” but he didn’t fight it and because of that I think he didn’t let the Cancer win. He spent his last moments exactly how he wanted to. His last words were “Thank You.” That is one hell of a legacy if you ask me.
My mom spent her entire life helping animals, and my dad spent their marriage letting her and I fill the house with homeless creatures without so much as a complaint. Mom once transported a pony in the back seat of her car because she didn’t have access to a horse trailer – Dad once sat out in the cold waiting on a field mouse he saw run up under the truck to come out. Crazy animal lovers but I would not have traded them for the world. I owe who I am to them. Giving me more than I could ever repay and I am forever grateful.
Melody Ann Merckling Gibbs
08 January 1947 – 05 February 2002
Thomas Franklin Gibbs, Jr
03 July 1943 – 21 June 2002