(I wrote this the day after I heard about my cousin, Frank, passing. I didn't post it immediately because I did not want to add to the sadness of his family in their time of mourning. Not only has his family lost a cherished husband and father, but the world has also lost an amazing and loving man and is the lesser for it.)
The last time I spoke to Frank was right after Thanksgiving, when he had come home from one of his many hospital stays. I went into his room to say hello and to tell him I was happy they had released him before the holidays. Despite his many battles with this disease, he was in great spirits. I have never seen him feel sorry for himself or heard him complain. He always had a smile on his face. We talked about our children, his favorite subject. His eyes always lit up when he would mention his children. We chatted about how good they all were and how very proud we were of all of them. He told me he was happy that our kids were getting together outside of family occasions, like friends. He said it was his hope that our children would be close, that they would have each other throughout their lives. I told him that was my hope too and that I worried because my kids have no one once our generation is gone. He said his kids didn't have anyone either, they weren't close to his brother's and sister's children. It was unspoken, but we understood in that moment how reassuring and comforting it is for us as parents, to know that when we leave this world our children will have close family that can count on no matter what trials life brings. Family who will be there to share in their joys and support them in their times of sorrow. Even during this conversation we had, Frank was thinking about his children, and I totally understood how he felt.
May you rest in peace Frank, until you are reunited with your family again.