Jerry Stoddard is a travel lover, and even animals have always sensed something special in him,which made him loved them. He loved marathons, and he did it for over six years, and in that span, he completed half as well as full marathons.
Even though 70 was the age to retire, he was not ready, and he kept himself completely busy.
It was April 6, and it was already a week he was ill. He spent a week in the hospital, and later, he was one of the earliest Kentuckians who died in COVID-19.
Katie Stoddard, his daughter, says, ‘It was swift and whatever happened was completely unexpected for us. It was the time where we realized how serious the situation is.’
She recalled when she got a call from her mother, and it was in late March. On-call her mother told about the father’s sore throat and mild fever. After a few days, both her mother and father lost smell and taste. Father completely reduced food intake and felt exhausted as well.
Her parents visited a doctor, but even after prescriptions, the situation was not better. Just two days later, their father entered the intensive care unit, and only in six days, he died.
She says, ‘I feel furious when people don’t consider the situation seriously. Along with yours, you are also affecting others and making them suffer.’
As there is a surge in the number of cases, both government and health officials have requested Americans to avoid big gatherings while celebrating Thanksgiving. Now, the entire nation marks a grim milestone since it is still fighting against the virus. The pandemic has taken over 250000 lives, and every day, the number is increasing in hundreds.
For at least a quarter-million Americans this year, there is no Thanksgiving gathering.
The families could not gather even to mourn their loved ones and have to spend their holidays missing them.
Katie Stoddard recalls, ‘My last memory or last goodbye to my father was on a cell phone video call. At that point, he was on a ventilator, and he was almost unconscious. A nurse helped him to hold the cell, and the nurse was very helpful. She even told that she could spend as much time in the room if he wants to talk to his daughter.’
Katie added, ‘I am happy that I did it, but meantime, I wish I didn’t. Doctors and nurses say he understood everything and knew I was there and talking, but I was not sure.’
Katie Stoddard lives in Colorado. She is living with her brother, and now after seven months later, she is doing everything to spend her Thanksgiving at home itself along with her boyfriend. She is trying to plan a typical gathering with their close family.
Her father loved to cook, and her parents always hosted Thanksgiving. He was good at preparing corn pudding and Brusselsprouts.
She completely understands that spending holidays without him is difficult and it is harder for her mother. On Halloween, he celebrated his birthday, and it has just passed. It is the upcoming Thanksgiving week in which her parents planned to celebrate 46th wedding anniversary.
She says, ‘Even now, it doesn’t seem real. I feel like calling him and share things with him. Again I have to remember that he is no more.’
A father, physician lost.
It was Lee Zimmerman’s father, who was living larger than life.
Over 55 years, his father,Dr. Nathan Zimmerman, served as a family doctor. He delivered babies, and he made house cells.
He oftenmoved out of the dinner table and suddenly from house at the point where he received urgent calls. He always listened to the patient in need, and he spent many holidays doing rounds in his hospital.
He showed up genuine interest in people, and that drew attention to him. He was retired, but even at 83, even after shrinking to 5 foot-2 inches, the old Zimmerman still loomed largely.
Lee Zimmerman says, ‘When he was walking in front of me, I felt like a little giant is walking.’
After suffering for a few days, on October 1, Zimmerman lost his life tothe virus.
For many people, Thanksgiving may not be complete since they lost their loved ones.