Union and West End Cemetery

The Union and West End Cemetery is located in center city Allentown. The main entrance is on 10th Street at 10th and Chew Streets. The cemetery is mantained by a dedicated group of volunteers. Ten board members (also volunteers) serve the cemetery association and manage the finances, make application for grants, solicit donations and participate in the maintenance of the cemetery.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Conversation with My Rheumatologist

Yes, I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and I see my Rheumatologist at least once every ninety days or so. I also have a problem with my left knee. I had it replaced several years ago so that I could enjoy a better quality of life, but it did not turn out that way. Today I was at my rheumatologist office for a Remicade infusion and a visit with the good doctor. For the most part, my AR is under control, thanks to the Remicade injections, medications that I take on a daily basis and ,of course, the expertise of my rheumatologist. She is a wonderful doctor and a great person.

The rheumatilogist, who will remain anonymous, and I had the usual conversation; how are you doing? Any complaints? Have you experienced any changes since your last visit? Are you experiencing any other conditions that are relevant? And on and on. As you might have noticed, my rheumatologist is a female. I don't mention this for any particular reason other than it is just a fact and I thought you should be aware of this from a factual standpoint.

My rheumatologist and I have many things in common but the most obvious is that we are both passionate about cycling. She not only cycles, but goes to France to see the 'Tour de France' up close and personal. I did not take up cycling until age 62, but none the less, became passionate about cycling.

But, this blog is not about me or cycling but it is about the cemetery, more or less.

My rheumatologist ask me if I had been cycling, and I responded no, and indicated that I had been too busy spending time in the cemetery. Now, keep in mind that my family and most of my friends and acquaintances are aware that I am involved passionately with the Union and West End Cemetery as a volunteer, but apparently I had not shared this information with my rheumatologist previously. When I stated that I was spending a lot of time in the cemetery, she offered that "losing a loved one was difficult and that it took time to heal." I immediately responded; "No! No! it isn't that, I was not mourning over my wife's grave, my wife (who past away more than five years ago) is in my bedroom"..."I volunteer in the Union and West End Cemetery and spend from 5 to 15 hours in the cemetery each week cutting grass."

Her response; Your wife is in your bedroom?

Me: Yes... she was cremated.

Her: Then she is in an urn?

Me: yes, her ashes are in a special box on my dresser in my bedroom.

I must remember to be clear about my involvement with the cemetery.

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