Thomas F Gibbs Jr

25 June 2002

Carlsbad N.M. – 1SG Thomas Franklin Gibbs, Jr. (Retired), 58, died June 21, 2002 at Carlsbad Medical Center.

Tom was born July 3, 1943 to the late Thomas F. Gibbs, Sr. and Wilmoth Whitlow Gibbs. He was preceded in death by his wife of over 20 years, Melody Ann Gibbs. Her passing in February 2002 had a profound affect on his health. He is survived by his three brothers and their families. He is also survived by his daughter L Gibbs Kidd and her husband Michael. He showed a great love and affection for the family of his late wife, always believing that blood wasn’t as strong of a bond as love. Melody’s sister and brother-in-law Pat and John Thompson has a special place in his heart. He will be greatly missed.

Tom was raised in Floyd County, Virginia and a graduate of Floyd County High School. After graduation he joined the US Marine Corps and served in Viet Nam. After his enlistment with the Marines was up he returned home to Virginia only to find himself back in the US Armed Forces, this time with the US ARMY. He served his country for over 20 years. After retiring from the Army in 1991 he settled in Floyd County with his wife and lived and worked for over 10 years. In November 2001 he and his wife moved to Carlsbad, New Mexico. Shortly after her death he was diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Bladder Cancer.

A simple private service at the residence was held for family and friends. We scattered his ashes in the same desert where his wife’s spirit soars so that they may be reunited. Tom was a spiritual man who believed that Church was a building and he didn’t need to be there to talk to God.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in the name of Thomas Gibbs to the Vista Care Family Hospice, 611 N. Canal St., Carlsbad, New Mexico 88220, would be greatly appreciated. Their compassion and care for Tom was the only thing that brought him peace in his final days. Without their help and support his quality of life would not have been as good as it was and his final moments would have been spent in agony and despair. We are especially grateful for their compassion and kindness. Without the staff at Vista Care she would not have been able to care for Tom all of those weeks alone at home. There are no words that can convey the family’s appreciation for all that Vista Care nurses, doctors and staff did for him. We would like to honor his memory by helping other families in need through Vista Care Family Hospice.

Coming Home

21 June 2002

Daddy died this afternoon. I called LK and told him I wanted to come home. I don’t want to be here anymore. Carlsbad was never where I wanted to be and with mom and dad both dead now .. I don’t think I could stand to live in this town. There are NO good memories for me here. I am going to sell the house and move back to Virginia. Life is too short and I want to spend all of the time I can with LK.

I know it sounds crazy, this house is paid for and we could stay here and get safe jobs and eek out a life but Mamma and Daddy taught me that life should not be spend wondering IF ONLY.


20 June 2002

There is a special place for people who fight cancer. I can’t think of another disease that kills the body and the spirit. Not just of the patient but their loved ones. It eats away at us all. I am feeling so guilty that Daddy had to go back into the hospital. I am afraid I won’t be able to give him the end at home that he wanted. I am exhausted and sleeping through the every hour dosing and that puts him in more pain. I am alone out here in the desert. Hospice has been amazing but so much of it is on me. I don’t want to let him down but I can’t let him suffer either.

Cancer Sucks

28 April 2002

Well I am out in NM once again — this time for good I think. Dad was diagnosed last week with terminal metastatic bladder cancer. Stage 4. I think he has been sick a long time. I can remember before LKs last deployment (well over a year ago) I told him that dad looked like he was just full of cancer. I guess I knew more than I thought. I hate it when I am right. He is taking it well. I am sure he has known a long time as well. I just can’t understand how it went undetected for SO LONG and the VA in NM picked it up on his routine transfer physical. Fucking VA doctors in Virginia didn’t want to bother with him I guess. What can I expect — I mean these are the same people that LOSE living patients and find them dead on the property weeks later. LK has to head back in few days then I will be here all alone. The hospice has been great and dad’s brothers are coming out. But they probably won’t stay long. I just hope I can continue to be strong for daddy. He deserves it.


19 March 2002

I live in an area where animals are treated with very little concern by most. They are property, they are tools, they are food. My thoughts on this one … those people are small minded assholes. Treating animals poorly simply because you CAN denotes a lack of self-respect. The same people who think it is okay to beat someone nearly to death because they are different and because they can. Gotta love those kinda people. I work with a rescue and we get all kinds of people who think they are good, decent people trying to dump their animals off on us. Reasons I’ve heard for having to get rid of pets: “he barks, he digs, he isn’t housebroken, he sheds, she got pregnant, she is too old, she chases the cat, she won’t stay in my unfenced yard, the kids wanted him but they don’t take care of him, she is my husbands dog and he’s out to sea (big excuse in the navy apparently), we got a new puppy, he got so big, I’m going to have a baybee.” For all of you morons who got any animal without doing a little research on what it takes to have animals in your life. Get together with the gold-diggin’ girlfriends from above rant and jump off the bridge together. You are NOT a NICE person if you abandon your animal. No they won’t make it in the woods, no a nice person won’t save it and take it home, no they won’t find a great family in the shelter, they will most likely DIE. And die they will – a horrible death. Starve to death, hit by vehicle, poisoned, killed by wild animals, confused and scared in a strange shelter surrounded by cold metal and noises they don’t understand while they wait their turn to die. Yeah go ahead and lie to yourself, you did the right thing. Fucking loser. Don’t even begin to think anyone who has half of a clue feels sorry for you either. I don’t. I hate you and people like you. Ask anyone who has been in rescue. You’re not good people, not by a long shot.

Melody Ann Merckling Gibbs

16 February 2002

Carlsbad N.M. – Melody Ann Merckling Gibbs, 55, died February 5, 2002 at Carlsbad Medical Center.

She is survived by her husband, 1SG Thomas F. Gibbs, Jr. (Ret) and countless loved ones. She touched everyone she knew and to list them all would be near impossible. She was born January 8, 1947 in Columbus, Ohio. She was the daughter of Theus M. Merckling and the late Maurice L. Merckling. She was a Westerville High School graduate, class of 1964. She was a lifelong member of the George L. Berhens Chapter #504, Order of the Eastern Star. As a girl she was active in Grange and Jobs Daughter’s. She married Thomas in 1980 and they traveled wherever the U.S. Army took them. She made every duty station
home but felt the most comfortable in the desert and longed to return. In November, 2001 that dream was fulfilled, and even though it was a short time lived it was the happiest of her life.

Hers is a wild magical spirit, she did exactly as she pleased and spent her life helping others. She had planned to start an all species rescue with her daughter within the next year. The plans for that rescue are still in the works and her spirit will live on with the help of her husband, daughter and son-in-law.

A simple private service at the residence will be held for family and friends. We will scatter her ashes over the desert that she loved so much.

Now What

15 February 2002

Hi all. I apologize for my recent silence online. I have not been able to get to a computer until today. We arrived around 2300 on Monday night – after a quick visit to the house and change of clothes we went to ICU to visit Mamma – Her vitals had been stable until I arrived – although the nurses said that they were falling it wasn’t enough for them to even note it in the records yet. When I got there, she was unresponsive, but I know she knew I was there. We took her off of the fluids as they weren’t helping and decided to let nature run its course. Her oxygen level dropped to 13%, and she started to turn blue, and I just told her she HAD to hang on and wait for Daddy – we had called him in, and he was on his way, but she HAD to wait on him. Her O2 levels started to climb then – this is how I know she knew I was there. = )

She let go of this life on Tuesday, February 5th at about 330am surrounded by loved ones. She was never in any pain, and when her body gave out it was swift and quiet. We could have put her on a life support system and kept her body alive, but the damage proved too high. She would never have come back to us. We did for her what she wanted – we let nature take its course. Mamma was such an independent woman that she would never have wanted to spend her last days depending on a machine. – Unless of course, it was a computer that had free online bingo *grins*

She will continue being an amazing force in my life as well as the lives of those she touched. I just keep telling myself the three things that my Mamma spent her entire life pounding into my brain …

1) Everything happens for a reason
2) Everything works out for the best
3) You will never have any more than you can handle

I wanted to thank you all for your kind words, well wishes, thoughts and prayers. I know that Mamma hung in there until I could come and say goodbye and for that, I will always be grateful.

If I am not around for a while longer I know you all will understand… we are all having a hard time with this, but we realize that she wouldn’t have left us if we couldn’t have handled it.

Mom is gone…

8 February 2002

We made it out to Carlsbad about 2 hours before my mom died.
I had to be the one to make the final decision to let her go. Her kidneys were shutting down and the scans were showing no activity in her brain. The stroke was a major one. Once I got to the hospital the nurses had told me they were just about to call because she was going downhill and if we were going to put her on life support now would be the time. I am numb. I can’t cry because I need to be strong for dad and I don’t think it has hit me yet.

This is all just so crazy. Just Friday night I spoke with her on the phone – complaining about LKs dad. She seemed fine. I don’t know what I am going to do without her.


5 December 2001

I wanted to tell you why I don’t want children so that it may help others who may be on the fence realize that they are not alone and that there is NOTHING wrong with them. I have also found that there is a prejudice against people who don’t want kids.

The next time someone who isn’t sure about what they are feeling and think they are losing their minds comes online and searches the word childfree maybe seeing that there are so many of us out here, they won’t feel alone in the sea of commercials for diapers, Dizzkneeland, and Brats R Us. Also to help stop people from thinking all of that crazy bullshit that people feel when you tell them you don’t want/ like children. Since I can remember I have never wanted children. I’ve never liked kids, even when I was a child I didn’t like to be around them. I didn’t play well with others so to speak. I don’t want the mess that children make; the smells children make, the noise children make, the stress in a relationship they can cause, the financial turmoil they can put you in, the list goes on. It is a personal choice, and I can live with it.

And it isn’t that I hate children. I dislike, as many people – parents and non-parents alike, ill-behaved children. But many of my friends and family have children that I enjoy spending time with, but I enjoy going back to my quiet home much more.

I recently had a Tubal Ligation as a form of birth control. My doctors didn’t hesitate to agree to this after I explained why I wanted it done. If I ever decide to have children I will adopt, after all, my Daddy is not linked to me by DNA why should that kind of thing matter to me if I have kids. Love is love.

Just don’t let people get you down and certainly try not to let their short-comings as a parent or human give you pause with your choices in life. Make yourself happy.