Theodore Olbermann, Keith Olbermann's father, died yesterday afternoon at the age of 81, after a long battle with infections stemming from an operation several months ago.
From Keith's MLB blog, Baseball Nerd:
My father died, in the city of his birth, New York, at 3:50 EST this afternoon.Keith, who regularly posts diaries on Daily Kos, left this comment in the post, "Theodore C. Olbermann, 1929-2010":
Though the financial constraints of his youth made college infeasible, he accomplished the near-impossible, becoming an architect licensed in 40 states. Much of his work was commercial, for a series of shoe store chains and department stores. There was a time in the 1970's when nearly all of the Baskin-Robbins outlets in the country had been built to his design, and under his direction. Through much of my youth and my early adult life, it was almost impossible to be anywhere in this country and not be a short drive to one of "his" stores.
My Dad was predeceased last year by my mother, Marie, his wife of nearly 60 years. He died peacefully after a long fight against the complications that ensued after successful colon surgery last September at the New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center. My sister Jenna and I were at his side, and I was reading him his favorite James Thurber short stories, as he left us.
[snip]He was my inspiration, and will always remain so. His bravery these last six months cannot be measured. He is as much my hero now, as he was when I was five years old.
My Thanks To EverybodyOne of Keith's most powerful "Special Comments," Help. Help. Help.," was due to what he was dealing with during his father's long hospital stay.
Forgive my brevity.
He fought against this, as did we, obviously - but that ratio of things you suffer in hopes of getting well, to chances you will get well, swung rapidly in the wrong direction in the last few days. You first-guess yourself, and second-guess, and thirtieth-guess, and you hope you're doing the right thing and that you are left with some vague sense that you did.
And then, if you're lucky, your Dad does for you what mine did for us. We dialed down the intervention and upped the pain remedies last night and he was out like a light, eyes closed. I walked him through everything we were considering and all that would ensue, and I read to him for hours, and he never moved. Then when I said good night, early this morning, I told him I loved him, and suddenly his eyes opened just barely and a few formless syllables crossed through his lips, and then he went back into that deep slumber. I think I'm not guessing too wildly at what he was saying in reply.
Today, after everything was turned off save for the painkiller drip and the oxygen, he opened his eyes a little more widely than they'd been (he was not awake), and I read him four or five of his favorite Thurbers and as I finished the last of them, he closed his eyes, and a moment after that just stopped breathing. No agonies, no rattles, no fear - and, given that the whole process took just 35 minutes - no need for us to doubt for a moment we were doing what he wanted.
Peace to you all.
An American cry for helpMy thoughts and prayers go out to Keith and his family.
In a Special Comment, Countdown’s Keith Olbermann shares his personal experience with a real life 'death panel' situation and scorns the unfairness of health insurance in America.