Cinco De Mayo is on May 5th. It's also the day that my brother in law passed from this earthly existence. The year of 2015, 05/05.
It was just last Easter that I collected my daughter and two of her children for the long trip to North Carolina to see Ray. Three years ago he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Surgeries and procedures followed and I didn't want to wait much longer before I visited. It was Easter, 2014.
I just made another trip to North Carolina to see him again. I knew his time was drawing near. I didn't make it for Easter but two weeks later then last year.
I was able to help my sister care for him. Some days he was awake and alert; some days he slept the day away in comfort. I questioned him often about pain which he denied. I would hear him sing out "Oh Me" and my sister would respond with "Oh My". He would know by this that she was close by and that's what made him comfortable. Once, while standing by his bed, he opened his eyes and very clearly said "You have pretty teeth!" I laughed and told him "It has cost me a lot of money to keep these teeth." He smiled and stayed awake to chat with us for a while.
My sister was happy caring for him. She wanted to spend as much time as possible with him knowing that as the time got closer he would be moved to a Hospice center. I had to make this trip for a number of reasons, the first two being to make sure my sister was not feeling trapped by caring for him 24hrs a day/seven days a week. I also wanted to satisfy myself that he wasn't in pain; that he was comfortable.
Two weeks after my leaving North Carolina, Ray passed on quietly surrounded by his family and friends and his wife. I won't be going back for the services. I felt it was more important to spend some time with him while he was alive. As I sit here thinking of him, knowing my sister is preparing his services, I know I made the right decision.
Rest in peace brother in law. You were loved by many.