Saturday, April 25, 2015

I have a magnificient family.

Not that they aren't human, they are very human including all the frailties that comes with being human. But, when coming together in pure shock of our new reality, there is nothing lacking in the response.

My Uncle Jack experienced a tragic death. He was estranged from communication and physical expression by an every encroaching glioblastoma that ultimately caused a mid-level coma. It was the voices that surrounded him that gave him the will let go and he passed away after his youngest sister, now 70 years old, said, "Good-bye." He took a deep breath and faded away.

These three weeks were horrible, but, mostly for him as he was locked in without any way of saying good-bye, so we found a way. 

I was not impressed regarding the medical response to an 84 year old man who was physically fit and suddenly struck with a reality of a four grade tumor. The family struggled to realize where they missed the signs. 

The fact of the matter is the tumor was fast growing and could only be realized with his recent complaints of tinnitus and a sound that his RN daughter termed a circulatory brui manifested in his right ear. He could actually her the tumor pressing on an artery within his frontal lobs. None of the family made the connection until it was too late.

I spent considerable time with them as many family member did and we managed to reassure forgiveness for any missed opportunity to make a small difference to Jack's final days.

There was a final joke he left at the church that celebrated his life before his burial. The church was built in the 1800s. There was a modernized version across the road, but, the congregation maintains a daily mass in the old structure. It was in excellent repair. Jack had contributed his carpenter talents to the old church to maintain it's like new condition. I suggested they seek a "Circa" classification as it is a charming church. The religious art in it's windows and statues was unique and splendid. 

But, for those who knew Jack and his unique brand of humor were amused to find that church did not have a modern bathroom with a toilet. The 'outhouse' was maintained, but, with a sink of running water. You have to know Jack has his hand in that because his final will stated he wanted his Catholic mass at that church with a particular priest with a gigantic sense of humor and his burial was behind that church. 

It was a magnificent ceremony. One that Jack deserved. He lived a life in service to everyone his entire life. 

His eulogy lovingly included the descriptive word hillbilly which caused the church and the priest to erupt in laughter. The priest afterwards stated it was the best eulogy he ever heard. Yes, indeed, his much loved son-in-law caught the personality of a man cherished by family and friends alike. 

He was blessed by the priest at the time of his burial immediately after the church service. 

The most sorrowful time was at the funeral parlor when his young grandson, age 7, wept uncontrollably because he could be near Jack anymore. There wasn't a dry eye to be found with the sound of a heartbroken child. He said to his mother then next day he had a dream where Jack appeared to him in a white robe and a feeling of never being alone. Go figure. His grandchild was named Jack, too.

There was no holding back at the catered hall of his "Wake." It was full as was the funeral parlor and the church. People had come from as far away as Washington State and as close as next door.

He was a husband, a father, a grandfather, a GI, an employee, a union member and everyone along the way felt his loss. There were donations to a children's hospital which was his wish and floral arrangements that lined the walls of the room where he lay visible for the last time. There were more green plants than flowers.  As I left today to return home, the family is overwhelmed with responsibility of finding good homes for all the plants which his wife would find daunting to care for. 

She is fine. She is a very wise woman. She was married to Jack. All the daughters were doing well when I left except for one who could not find peace in her father's death. She was entering a stage of anger when I said good-bye. She has my phone number. 

The days of preparing a response to his death manifested in a tribute to put a king to shame. He was much loved and endeared. It showed.
If there is an 'anger translator' for President Obama, is there a 'civilized translator for the Tea Party?