My uncle passed away this weekend after a long battle with lung cancer. He was never really healthy tho. His first year of college he was diagnosed scizophrenic, but with medication he was a very loving man. His mental health issues kept him from ever getting married or moving out. He lived with my grandmother his whole life. A few years ago, he moved into a nursing home with my grandmother, and they both loved it there. The staff is great as well. He loved his mom, sisters, nieces, and nephew very much, as well as my two kids. We got a call last monday that it would be any day, he had stopped drinking and was barely eating. We went over that day, and he was somewhat alert and could talk a little. We went back a couple days later and his door was shut. We asked the nurse, and she said we could go in. It would have been nice if she would’ve warned us on his current status since I had my two kids with me. He was unresponsive, had oxygen over his nose, and was struggling for breath. I tried to block my son, but he’s 4, he wanted to see. We said a prayer and left. We got a call saturday that it would be that day. We went over, but left my son at home this time since my husband was home and my daughter is too little to know what was going on anyways. I got a call later that night as I was getting my kids in the car, he had passed. My son wanted to know what was wrong, I wasn’t sure what to tell him. How much can a 4 year old comprehend. I danced around the topic a minute but finally said that he had died. He didn’t really respond. I wasn’t sure if I should say, he was sick, he died. He knew he was sick, I didn’t want him to think everytime i get sick, I will die. So I left it at that. A minute later, I asked if he was okay, and what he was thinking about, he responded “Chuck E Cheese” I guess he was okay. That’s what my uncle would’ve wanted him to think about anyways.
I was talking with my aunt today, I told her I was going to get a wind chime to put in the garden at the nursing home, so that when we go out there we will think of him. She told me a story of several months ago, the nursing home took the residents on a field trip to the butterfly house. A butterfly landed on my uncle’s head and they took a picture and it was the best picture anyways ever taken of him. She said a couple months ago, they were outside at the nursing home, smoking, a butterfly landed on my uncle. We’ve never even seen butterflies out there before, but its not that unusual. Well a couple days ago, after my uncle had passed, my grandmother was outside smoking, that same butterfly landed on her, and then landed on the ash tray. I’d like to think it’s him, I mean it’s not like its a sweet place to land, its an ash tray!
R.I.P. Uncle Larry