Even as Andy's health deteriorated, he insisted on working. After being hospitalized several times this year, he decided to move his bed into his office so that he could continue to design publications even as he became bedridden, as he knew he inevitably would.
He was aware he was terribly sick, but he never felt sorry for himself. His days increasingly were spent shuttling to and from doctors' offices, being poked and prodded, subject to countless indignities. But he remained cheerful, always optimistic. When I told him that I was planning a pool party over July 4th weekend but I assumed he wouldn't be able to come, he said, "Why not?"
There was no stopping Andy. He could barely sit up, but he delivered the final design for the AFT magazine late last week. He was getting ready for a much-anticipated family reunion at the end of the month and looking forward to a hot dog and homemade potato salad at my house a few weeks later.
Andy taught me many things over the years, but his final lesson was the most important. Death with dignity means a whole lot more than dying quickly. It was impossible to pity Andy because life remained a joy to him. He will be missed by everyone whose life he touched.
Linda Chavez is chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and author of Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics .
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