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HELP$ Stories: Richard Hicks

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

Richard Hicks, some years ago


I think I am still getting used to the idea of a terminal diagnosis. Although it came as a complete surprise, I accept it as the natural and inescapable conclusion to life and I am not resistant. So, I'm meeting the members of my final medical team and consistent with every previous experience with the OHSU staff it has left me in a sense of wonder. Of course the VA provides an excellent platform for the active participation of the OHSU specialists and I am a chief beneficiary of the collaboration. I have near-term appointments with several new team members and am looking forward learning how everyone will contribute to the game plan. I feel more tired than usual, but I'm hoping it's psychosomatic.


The journey of my life arrives at the 72nd trip around the sun, rich in experience, but impoverished for life, probably a fair exchange, but makes your grant a rare, serendipitous bit of extra cash to carry along toward my certain demise. Having been impoverished for some years, it was a joy to think about plugging some holes in our basket. I am focused on trying to leave my wife as well-off as I can, so I filled our pantry with staples, a fresh round of inexpensive cookware, and another small appliance. My gratitude to the foundation for the things we bought is also gratitude for the carefree grocery shopping trip with my wife. Similarly, we turned our need for a small two-drawer file cabinet turned into another giddy adventure (41 years married and still get a kick of visiting a series of Goodwill Stores together knowing we had a few bucks in our pocket). I hope you wouldn't be disappointed that we spent a small part on pure R&R. Since we came here in 2010, I have been aware of The Evergreen Museum of Air and Space, so on Veterans Day, we drove South for 50 miles and stepped into another world. I learned to fly about 40 years ago and have loved all things aviation ever since. So, I got to do a close-up inspection of Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose along with other historically significant and rare displays. The place was extra friendly to our powered wheelchairs and the experience was exuberant and care free. We couldn't even remember the last time we had had so much fun. I hope it was OK for us to do something that selfish.

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