Sunday, August 24, 2008

In a moment

Good news and bad news.

First, the (what I consider to be) good news. I'm just getting older apparently. My MRI showed degeneration....some in the chest wall and some in the spine....I haven't done a follow up yet because of the bad news.

My Uncle T passed away. He was 52 and so much more of a brother than an uncle. His daughter turned 15 the next day. His wife is my age.

One week ago today my uncle passed away. I spent the night before at hospice. The only way to get my dad, aunts and other uncle to go to bed was to promise I would sit and watch him. I watched him breathe, stop breathing (be still my heart, too) and continue breathing. I counted each breath. It was sort of noisy and shallow until about 4 a.m. and then became very shallow. I left around noonish and came and went until that evening, when exhaustion overcame me and a massive headache set in. Then I went home and took some medicine and laid down. Even after days of no sleep I still could not sleep. My mind was racing, memories were making it difficult to stop crying. Just as I was about to drift off the phone rang. The family was asked to return. I had R drive me as I had taken a sleeping pill. When I got there he was gone. Uncle B met me at the door and told me that he had gone to heaven. I had to see him. We gathered as a family around him and talked a bit then went to the chapel to meet with hospice. We prayed and cried. It was too early. We weren't ready for him to go. We were, however, relieved to know that he was no longer suffering because one of his greatest fears was to linger like that, in a coma, with his daughter and wife and 95 year old father watching.

My memories of Uncle T go so far back that I cannot remember not knowing him. There was one house between my grandparents house and ours for most of my growing up years. Uncle T was still living at home most of that time, too. He had a purple bedroom which I imitated in a lavender shade. He had eight tracks which he let me listen to anytime. My favorite was Rod Stewart. I learned how to play some of Rod Stewart's songs on his guitar.

He walked a lot and I joined him when I saw him. He drove me around whenever I asked and he always had a "cool" car. He treated me like a friend, a sister and a niece. He loved me and I loved him.

He was the baby of the six children my grandparents had. My grandmother passed away the day I went into labor with Rae. As a matter of fact, I went into labor just hours after I was told she passed away. My grandmother would not have done well watching my uncle die. I am glad she was already in heaven waiting for him. I know they are having a great time. Wonder if they have circus peanuts in heaven?

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