It is really sad when people die who are younger than me, especially a first cousin who was 10 years younger than me. Jeffery Paul is Uncle Glenn’s oldest son. A truckdriver and construction guy who had seven-years reprieve after getting leukemia. Our Grandpa, Paul Hafen, also died of leukemia. Grandpa’s disease was a very aggressive form of leukemia the Doctors had never seen before. I remember Grandma Hafen on National Public Television explaining how Grandpa ran cattle northwest of Mesquite, Nevada. How he came home one day and told her “They set off another one of those damn bombs today.” He was close enough to the Nevada Test Site he could see the flash of light, hear the atomic boom as it echoed across the mountain ranges, and feel the hot dust as it passed over him and his herd of cattle. Grandma told how she told him to go have a bath, and he replied, “No damn dust is going to hurt me.” It did. It is a reasonable assumption it also hurt his Grandson, Jeffrey Paul Hafen, who had worked in the same dust building houses in St. George. It also hurt my Dad. Dad died of a rare kind of upper bowel cancer, which was also attributed to the nuclear tests. Knowing both Dad and Grandpa were “Downwinders,” and knowing when I was not in school I was typically with one or the other of them, I have always expected to die from some rare kind of cancer. This type of opinion can truly impact one’s life and lifestyle. I’ve often wondered if it is why I have been an overachiever, attempting to get the most possible out of life, as long as I can remember. I think this song nicely captures how a similar attitude was shared by my cousin Jeffery Paul Hafen.
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