It is hard to deal with the loss of any loved one no matter the circumstance. To see someone deteriorate and slip away at the hands of an illness is difficult to shake from your memory. As hard as it is to think past those last images it is important to remember how that person lived and not how they passed away.
This was my final tribute to my father-in-law who passed away on October 13, 2014.
He was a laid back, light-hearted man who loved to laugh and loved his family even more. He cared more about everyone else’s well-being than his own. Even when he was in the hospital in bad shape, he asked how everyone else was doing. I don’t think I ever saw him angry even given the hand that he was dealt. He rarely complained about anything. Even when we could see the pain in his eyes, his response was always, “just a little pain.”
He joked about everything even in the hardest times. I remember one scare he gave us, I almost had to carry him out of the house and rush him to the hospital. When he finally got back home he was sitting on the couch across from me. He looked up with a smile and said, “Thank you, Rino… but this is not the last time.” … and he let out a big laugh.
I remember when the doctor gave him the news in the hospital that they could no longer continue his chemo treatment. I was furious at how the doctor delivered the news. I remember telling my dad and he asked me how he took the news… He was calm and accepted it without anger or sadness. He seemed at peace with it. My dad’s response… “Heart of a Lion.”
He really did have the Heart of a Lion. Superman! He was a little man, but he fought with the strength of 20.
He never wanted anyone to be upset when he passed… Easier said than done… But the best thing for us to do is laugh at the memories we had with him. It is what he would have wanted.
He passed away at lunch time, no doubt to go grab my grandmother’s lasagna that I asked her to make for him…. ready to sing and dance with the family.
You could walk into a room and not know my father in law was there if you didn’t see him…until he smiled. I don’t see him right now, but I can hear his smile… And I feel it filling the air around us.