There are times when being away from your family can really be hard to bear. I was told earlier this week that my uncle was given his Last Rites. I could have flown home for the funeral, but what really mattered to me was to be able to look him in the eye one last time, while he was still alive, and he KNEW that I was there, to tell him that I Love Him. I knew that even if I'd hop on a plane right after the phone call, I'd be too late.
I've been praying really hard this week; and today, especially, my heart hurts.
Last night, after my Mom called to tell me that he'd passed on, I had another deep session with my higher power. As my brother put it this morning, if ever there was an Angel to walk this earth, it would have been my Mom's brother.
I cannot begin to tell you how much he was loved for the man that he was. He was a spiritual man, and so very patient. There was not a selfish bone in his body. He was always there to help anyone in need.
It all started a little less than 3 years ago. The last time that I saw him in good health, was when Sarah was baptized (we are a Catholic family). No one knows for sure on how or why he got sick, but after a while, we all realized that we were past the point of getting answers.
When I was a little girl, I'd wait for his white Ford Fairmont to come around the curve, and then I'd run next door to greet him, and ask about his day at work. He'd always have his hands full of papers etc, but he was always happy to see me, and would bend down, point to his cheek and tell me to "plant it right there."
When we went home for the Christmas holidays, I was able to say my final goodbye, and remind him that one of my favorite memories of growing up was giving him those kisses on the cheek. I thought about how I used to sit with him outside on Saturday afternoons watching cars as they drove past, listening to his police scanner (he worked with tv's and radios), and watching him drink his Coors while he ate a from a wedge of hogshead cheese.
I adored that man.
I think we all agree that today is a day to rejoice though. Of course, we are all grieving, but we know that with whatever ailed him, he's finally at peace. He is no longer trapped in that body. It was pure torture to see such a man in the condition he was in.
After I last saw him, he took a turn for the worse. In the past few days, he was having trouble breathing because pneumonia had set in. I talked to my younger cousin earlier this afternoon, and asked him if he'd suffered much more in his last hours.; she told me that he went quietly after everyone was tucked in for the night.
I'd like to think that he waited for the right time to let go. It seems that up until the very end, he was thinking of others. That's just the type of man that he was.