For those who are touting Colorado cantaloupe today being back on store shelves, take some time to remember one of your (former) customers.


In working on this case, I got a note from the family on one of the last few days of Frances’s life.  Here is one of the hardest parts:

The focus now was now was on Frances’s 104-degree fever. The staff at the hospital would get it down under 102 and then it would start right back up again, a battle that continued for days.

We stayed in shifts. We were at her bedside for many seemingly unbearable moments as her first seizures were just the first of many to come:

If you haven’t seen a grand mal seizure, the worst and most significant of seizures, then you can barely imagine what it would be like to see your precious, 80 year old mother who has been fairly motionless for hours begin to flail her arms and arch her back and violently jerk as her head rears back and all while her eyes are wide open because they have been for days, she is clamping her teeth as she grimaces sucking air in and out as her mouth begins to foam. All you can do as the nurses run in is try to touch her jerking shoulder as you cry, “I’m here, mom” as the tears flood your face and you hear your own sobbing. When you think it’s finally over after minutes of this agony, you realize that she is still arched and still sucking in the air with her teeth clamped and it will be what feels like an eternity before her breathing finally slows and she relaxes back into the sheets.

Rest in peace Frances Mostiller Gilbert – a former consumer of cantaloupe.