Right now I am sitting next to the bed of my 99-year-old dad, Hubert P. Yockey, and for the next few hours or days, he is still one of the last living nuclear physicists of the Manhattan Project. He shortened the war with Japan by improving the design of the Calutron, the machine used at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to separate uranium for the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. After over 20 happy years caring for my late life partner, who died of complications of multiple sclerosis in 2004, I came back home in October 2006 to live with my dad and provide his care. But I need help from my friends to do my last service for him. I need to ask for donations to cover the cost of a budget cremation for him. My goal is
I know there are people who think I should have saved up this amount in that time, or my dad should have. Long story short, by the time I’d conquered various health problems and it looked like I could figure out how to make some money while caring for Dad, the level of care that he needed changed and made that impossible. For the last few years, I’ve had to stick very close to him when he was awake and get up two or more times a night to keep him alive. But it was worth it. My father is a wonderful man and very pleasant company.
As an example of his kind nature, a few years ago I volunteered to put a lot of music and videos onto a friend’s iPad to entertain her during her dialysis sessions. I wound up working about 30 hours straight because one video just would not convert to a playable format. Then I had to take Dad to a game played by our local minor league baseball team since we had season tickets. On the way, I explained my marathon session mastering the iPad. Dad immediately became very sympathetic, and replied, “Oh yes, it was just like that for me–when I was learning to use the cyclotron.” (I still think his equating his mastery of the cyclotron and mine of the iPad is one of the funniest things anyone has ever said to me.)
To be able to share all the photos I want of my dad’s Manhattan Project days and my last year with him, taking him on adventures, I’m linking a Facebook post I’ve made public.
If it is comfortable for you to help me out, please click the PayPal button below. I’m using PayPal because funds are available the fastest from it. My father is going much faster than I expected. The funds donated will go into a special bank account I’ve set up for my father’s care. Thank you.
UPDATE, 2/20/2016, Sat.: My beloved father, the center of my life since I moved back home to care for him in 2006, passed away on January 31 with me at his side. Thanks to my blogger friends who linked this post and their kind and generous readers, I was able to pay for my father’s cremation. For the first few days after Dad died, I stayed in my usual hypervigilance mode. I felt like Wile E. Coyote for the few moments he remains suspended in mid-air after he runs off the cliff. And then I crashed into catatonia and sleeping in my late life partner’s lift recliner chair. In the last day or two I crossed over into searing pain and periodic sobbing. Dad was happiest going out for rides in the car, so driving is the worst because I miss him so much. His wheelchair lived in the trunk of every car I’ve driven since I moved home. Opening the trunk now and seeing it empty reminds me he’s gone and I get hit with waves of pain. The bottom line is I’m doing the best I can, but my heart has been ripped out of my chest and I’m finding it hard to get much done without it. But it is a big priority for me to write my thank-you e-mails to every donor. Please be patient with me for a few more days. Thank you.