Thanks For Your Condolences & Your Prayers For My Dad, Jerry Pick

By Adam Pick on August 2, 2017

On Friday… I lost a hero, a great friend and my dad at the same time.

After a long and ruthless battle against Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD), my dad, Jerry Pick, re-discovered comfort and peace.  At 77 years young, angels swooped down upon his home to disconnect and lift his spirit from a body that had failed him.

 

Jerry Pick (1940-2017)

 

Throughout his 6-year war against CBD, which is in the Parkinson’s Plus disease category, my dad never complained.  Jerry, who was an anesthesiologist for 35 years, fought with dignity and grace.  A Chicago-native, he used to love playing tennis, golf, swimming, traveling and cooking.

He never wanted to be a burden — even when he lost the ability to feed himself.

My “Pops” was a warrior. He was a fighter. Again, he was my hero.

 

 

On behalf of my family and friends, I want to thank this community for showering us with your prayers, your condolences and your sympathies.  You have, once again, reminded me why the caring people in this community are such a gift and blessing in my life.

 

 

So you know… This community may not exist without Jerry’s influence.  There are two reasons I say this.

First, my dad was a technology zealot.  He was fascinated with anything that could be conceived as a “next generation” whatever.  He was one of the first people to own a home computer.  I believe it was the IBM 5150.  He was one of the first adopters of online banking when connection speeds were lightning quick — at 1200 baud.

Yes, my dad was the proud owner of a Betamax machine.

 

 

It was this undeniable enthusiasm for technology that Pops passed onto me.  At age 8, he gave me my first computer — a handheld.  Then, a Commodore 64.  A few years later, I got a PC. Then, as I headed off to the University of Michigan (his alma mater) for college, he bought me my first Mac.

Throughout the years, we enjoyed expansive, mind-stretching conversations about the role of technology now and in the future.  What’s GoogleBot doing right?  What’s GoogleBot doing wrong? What’s next for Jeff Bezos and Amazon?  How great is Netflix?  How will the Internet disrupt medicine to enhance patient experiences?

 

 

The other reason my dad was instrumental in the formation of HVS is the fact that he was a doctor (an anesthesiologist).  As his son, I watched (or heard) him leave for the hospital very, very, very early in the morning. Why?  To help people.  I found that lifelong commitment to be pure and admirable — even when he was on call, and even when I would not see him for days.

I think it was that admiration that cultivated my desire to help people when-and-wherever I could.

This website seemed to be the perfect marriage of technology and altruism.  Needless to say, my dad encouraged me to start HVS back in 2006.

 

 

The loss of my dad has been exactly that…  A loss.

No one close to me has died before.  That said, I am experiencing a flood of emotions that are indescribable. I am finding these emotions to be absolutely grueling and absolutely beautiful at the same time.

I know my dad is in a much better place now. However, that doesn’t always make the days easier (as I thought it would).  At times, I feel like I’m in a strange fog.

 

 

In addition to loving jazz, Mozart, the Beatles, Spanish guitar, Pandora, the Cubs, Nestle Toll House cookies, Grandma Nat’s brownies, doughnuts, tequila, sushi, history books, QuizUp, John Belushi, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Caddyshack, his 3 children, his 5 grandchildren, and his girlfriend of 30+ years, my father loved to laugh.

My dad found humor in the small things and the big things.  Deep down, I think he really wanted to be a stand-up comic.  For example, here is a joke that my dad shared about the human body.

It takes food 7 seconds to get from your mouth to your stomach.
One human hair can support 6.6 pounds.
The average man’s penis is 2 times the length of his thumb.
Human thighbones are stronger than concrete.
A woman’s heart beats faster than a man’s.
There are about one trillion bacteria on each of your feet.
Women blink twice as often as men.
The average person’s skin weighs twice as much as the brain.
Your body uses 300 muscles to balance itself when you are standing still.
If saliva cannot dissolve something, you cannot taste it.
Women will be finished reading this by now.
Men are still busy checking their thumbs.

Thanks so much for your condolences.  Thanks so much for your prayers.  Thanks so much for your support of my dad, my family and our friends.

 

 

Keep on tickin’ Pops!  Love you!  Miss You!
Adam


Written by Adam Pick
- Patient & Website Founder

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and Medical News Today.

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and Medical News Today.


James Jones says on August 3rd, 2017 at 2:28 pm

Adam – Your father was a wonderful man. And you are a wonderful son. Thank you for sharing this wonderful, well written tribute about his enormously rich life and the relationship you shared as father and son. You seem so like you dad in many ways. You have touched so many in this community, including Lise and me. We are with you during this time of loss and transition. Jim and Lise Jones



Adam says on August 3rd, 2017 at 2:36 pm

Jim and Lise,

Thanks soooooooooo much for your kind and thoughtful words. You brought a much-needed smile to my face. Thank you. All the best, Adam



Gail Bloom says on August 3rd, 2017 at 2:39 pm

Very sorry to read of your Dad’s passing. You wrote a very moving tribute to him, and I’m sure he was very proud of you. May your wonderful memories of him be a comfort to you.



James Jones says on August 3rd, 2017 at 2:50 pm

Well, Adam, in our heart community we are all there for each other in times of elation and times of sorrow. We share a somewhat unusual and unbreakable common bond!



Adam says on August 3rd, 2017 at 2:57 pm

Hi Gail, Thanks so much. Yes, we will hold onto his memories… tightly. Again, thank you!



Adam says on August 3rd, 2017 at 3:09 pm

Could you be any more eloquent? I don’t think so. That was beautiful and comforting. Love our bond! Adam



Anita Egden says on August 3rd, 2017 at 3:13 pm

It’s so hard to lose our dads. Thanks for sharing the story in this difficult time. I agree with Gail, it is very moving and a lovely tribute



joel w pontbriand says on August 3rd, 2017 at 3:16 pm

dear adam, first let me offer my heart-felt condolences to you on losing your dad. Your tribute to him was exquisite, and I could tell how much you loved him. I pray that you might approach the throne of grace as often as you need, and that you find comfort and peace by doing so. Your words rang very close to home as I lost my dad to the same condition 17 years ago, much too soon. Let me just add that anyone who loved caddyshack must have been one hell of a guy!



Adam says on August 3rd, 2017 at 3:36 pm

Joel, Thanks for your condolences and your prayers. I am so sorry to hear that your dad and my dad suffered from this nasty disease. It stripped him of everything. I know they are both in a better place.

Fyi, one of my dad’s favorite Caddyshack scenes included Bill Murray’s infamous story about the Dalai Lama (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X48G7Y0VWW4). I’ll do my best to post it below.



catherine says on August 3rd, 2017 at 3:36 pm

Dear Adam, I am very sorry to read this and I offer my condolences to you and your family. What you wrote is very moving and a great tribute to the admirable man and father your dad was. This loss is very very sad, but at the same time you have been extraordinary lucky to have such a great person in your life. You can take comfort with all the memories you share with him.



Adam says on August 3rd, 2017 at 3:37 pm

Thank you Anita!



Onie Rogers says on August 3rd, 2017 at 3:43 pm

A beautiful story and heart felt condolences to you Adam and your family…please keep up your great work



Adam says on August 3rd, 2017 at 3:44 pm

Very, very, very helpful perspective Catherine. Yes, I was extraordinarily lucky to have him in my life. I learned so much from him. Thank you! Adam



Donna Smith says on August 3rd, 2017 at 3:52 pm

Adam, what a beautiful tribute–your Dad sounds like a wonderful human being. I’m very sorry for your loss; I lost my Dad to Parkinson’s/bone cancer subsequent to prostate cancer, but he was much older. It was still a great loss and I miss him so much. My Dad was ahead of his time in technology too. He had the first Pac-Man of anyone I knew and always wanted the latest gadget. When he was suffering from his last illness and unable to work the device, he was just fascinated with my iPhone. I know he would have wanted one so much. God bless you for your work here and the support you gave my husband, Jim, when he had his mitral valve re-repair in 2011. May your Dad rest in the Lord’s peace.



JUDY HATCH says on August 3rd, 2017 at 4:37 pm

Dear Adam, I am so very sorry to hear about your Dad. You have such loving memories of him and that will sustain you in the days and years to come. You are one of the fortunate ones. My prayers are with you and your family.



Irene Wang says on August 3rd, 2017 at 4:55 pm

Dear Adam, I’m deeply sorry to hear that you lost your dad. You have a wonderful dad. I’m sure your dad must be very proud of having a wonderful son like you too. I can relate to your loss. It was so hard when I lost my dad. I agree with Catherine, the memories you shared with your dad will bring you comfort.



Adam says on August 3rd, 2017 at 5:09 pm

Hi Irene, Thanks so much for your note and your echo of Catherine’s comments about memories. I am definitely learning how powerful those memories can be. Again, thank you! Adam



Adam says on August 3rd, 2017 at 5:12 pm

Thanks so much Judy! You are right. I was one of the fortunate ones. Nobody is perfect — as a dad, as a mom, as as a brother, as a sister, as a child, etc. However, the learnings my dad provided me have no boundaries. I was lucky.



Adam says on August 3rd, 2017 at 5:15 pm

Ugg. So sorry to hear we can relate on this topic. Sounds like your dad had a double doozie. My goodness Donna. I am so sorry. Pac Man? Now, that is downright awesome. Give my best to Jim! Thanks Donna!



Adam says on August 3rd, 2017 at 5:15 pm

Thanks for your condolences and your encouragement Onie!!!!



Liz Burroughs says on August 3rd, 2017 at 7:43 pm

Such a beautiful tribute to your dad!! I’m so sorry for your loss.



Adam says on August 3rd, 2017 at 7:58 pm

Liz, On behalf of our family, thank you!



L H Mitchell says on August 3rd, 2017 at 8:41 pm

Adam – No wonder you project such a caring manner and were able to initiate this wonderful community for OHS patients. Your father must’ve been a wonderful and caring man, and while his absence will certainly be difficult, you’ve already shown how much the memories will help sustain you and the others who loved him. I’m 72, so old enough to have lost both my parents, and unfortunately neither were very happy people, but they did their best with the personalities they had. I still feel that I never really knew them in much depth, and when I was small I used to think all adults were basically unhappy – not the case, of course. But still I learned very important and lasting lessons which made me a better person and I treasured my husband and two daughters even more. So we always learn from our parents, and we grieve for them in different ways. Thanks again for this amazing community where we share experiences and help each other. My thoughts are with you and your family now.



L H Mitchell says on August 3rd, 2017 at 8:44 pm

Adam – forgot to say thanks for sharing your father’s poem, which made me laugh out loud. What a lovely man!



Robert Frederick says on August 3rd, 2017 at 9:00 pm

Adam. He was a good dad. I sure he must have been proud of you.



Miriam Nissley says on August 3rd, 2017 at 9:49 pm

Sorry to hear the news about your dad! Praying for you & the family!



Steve Mangum says on August 3rd, 2017 at 9:52 pm

Sorry for your loss Adam. I was discharged from St. Joseph’s in Atlanta hospital after my AVR surgery on Aug 14th. Doing fine. Also was a bi-cuspid.

My dad was a doctor too, finished #1 at Harvard Med School. He was a great athlete, golfer and a runner.

We cannot have them forever, so I hope you and your Dad maximized your time together. He seemed very nice.

I also got your book, The Patient’s Guide to Heart Valve Surgery. It is very useful! Again my condolences.

Steve Mangum, Atlanta
Age 62



Cathy Burgess says on August 3rd, 2017 at 11:01 pm

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your dad . I know from losing my daddy, there is really nothing me or anyone else can do or say to ease your heartache right now. Keep all your wonderful memories handy and bring them out when needed . God bless you and your family.



Joyce Walters Taylor says on August 4th, 2017 at 12:15 am

Dear Adam and family, my heart goes out to each of you in the loss of your Pops. He sounded like an amazing and gifted person sent from God to be in your lives. You all have been loved and blessed. Heaven is sweeter with your Pop’s presence. You all will be reunited again for earth is simply a stepping stone to eternity. Many prayers and much love for your precious Mom and for each of you as you try to process this difficult time in your lives. To shed tears means that you have experienced a precious gift – LOVE. Much love, peace and comfort for each of you. Pops is still tickin in Heaven!! ❤️



Michele Renee Tracey says on August 4th, 2017 at 3:06 am

So sorry for your loss Adam! Your Dad seemed like an incredible man who loved to help others… just like you! I’m quite sure you made him proud!



Robin Howald says on August 4th, 2017 at 7:00 am

May his name forever be a blessing. What wonderful memories to always warm your heart.



Jennifer Roy says on August 4th, 2017 at 7:25 am

Lovely tribute! I lost my mom 20 years ago.
Keep on ticking



Pat Bijas says on August 4th, 2017 at 6:07 pm

Adam, I am so, very, very sorry about the loss of your Dad. I’m sure you made him very proud…..



Donna Smith says on August 4th, 2017 at 8:31 pm

Thank you for your very kind words, Adam. I think this site hints at what the Kingdom of Heaven is like, when we will be perfected and reunited in love with our Dads and others. 🦋



Chris Smith says on August 4th, 2017 at 10:04 pm

so sorry for your loss Adam. I’m sure he’s very proud of who you’ve become. Thank you for all you do!! Your work helps us so much!!



Reannon says on August 11th, 2017 at 10:25 am

Adam,
I just read this. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Your words are beautiful in your tribute to your father. He sounds like an incredible man. I wish you well as you step forward…one day at a time.
All my best,
Reannon Wright (Piedmont Heart)



Adam says on August 11th, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Thanks so much for your support Reannon! I and my family really appreciates it!!!



Adam says on August 11th, 2017 at 3:01 pm

Thanks Chris!!!



Adam says on August 11th, 2017 at 3:53 pm

Many thanks for your kind words Pat!!!



Adam says on August 11th, 2017 at 3:54 pm

Thanks Jennifer! My thoughts are with the memories of your mother!



Adam says on August 11th, 2017 at 3:54 pm

Love that Robin! Here’s to memories!!!!



Adam says on August 11th, 2017 at 3:54 pm

Thanks Michele!



Adam says on August 11th, 2017 at 3:55 pm

Lots of tears = Lots of love! I’ll take comfort in that Joyce! Thanks so much!



Adam says on August 11th, 2017 at 3:55 pm

Thanks so much Cathy!



Adam says on August 11th, 2017 at 3:57 pm

Thanks Steve. Much appreciated, Sounds like your dad was quite the role model. 🙂



Adam says on August 11th, 2017 at 3:57 pm

Thanks Miriam!



Adam says on August 11th, 2017 at 3:57 pm

Thanks Robert!



Adam says on August 11th, 2017 at 3:58 pm

Glad to hear his humor got you to laugh out loud.



Adam says on August 11th, 2017 at 4:00 pm

LH, the learnings you allude to just keep on coming. I keep saying that to my sister over-and-over, “I feel like there is so much to learn from this.” Thanks LH!


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