Friday, January 24, 2014

On That Day...

How many majorly important days have I had?

There's graduation, there's my wedding, the birth of the only. I've had other important days as well.

I think one that stands out in my mind right now is the day I said goodbye to my uncle.

Uncle Pete was not easy to like if you were just meeting him. He was loud, he let his opinions be known, and he loved his beer.

He was fiercely loyal, though, and he loved his family.

Uncle Pete was diagnosed with lung cancer in late 2011. He was in good spirits, joked about his funeral. Told me to bring a six pack and put it at the front of the chapel. I laughed, because I knew this was his way of coping with a difficult situation.

In June of 2012, we all knew that cancer was winning. It had spread to his other organs, and he was in pain. He was tired.

They sent him home on hospice in the beginning of July.

July 4th is the last day I ever saw Uncle Pete.

On that day, I knew it was going to be the last day. I told Brad that we had to go see Uncle Pete because he wasn't going to be there for much longer. He agreed, and we got our daughter dressed and we went to see him.

Everyone was there. His kids, my dad and stepmom, friends, everyone. There were some people crying, but I promised myself I wouldn't cry until I left the house.

We let Ariel go to him first. She wasn't walking yet, but she was crawling. She sat on his lap and kissed him. Of course, she was too young to know what was happening but I knew that seeing her made him happy.

We stayed for an hour, and then when I went to leave, this happened.

"You need to come see me more often, you live a mile right down the damn road, your mama can walk with you."

I went to tell him that we lived ten miles from each other when I saw my dad shaking his head no. So I kissed him on the head, and told him I loved him. I didn't say goodbye. I didn't want my last words to him to be that.

I learned that in his mind, I still lived right down the road, and that to correct him now wouldn't be the best thing.

On that day, I decided that I did not want to EVER hear the word cancer again. He was the second member of my family to die of the disease in two years.

He died on July 12, 2012.

No comments:

Post a Comment