Good morning to all. The day came and Big M lost his battle. Although cancer did not take him, pneumonia did.....but it does not matter....he is gone....but not really gone.
As Catholics, we believe that he is with God in heaven and able to interact and see us as we struggle to make a life without him. There have been multiple online tributes to him as we work on creating a memorial worthy of a man who lived an honorable and giving life.
For example, rather than having flowers at church, we plan on having trees, bushes, ornamental grasses, and shrubs.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to his alma mater where he was inducted into their Hall of Fame twice....that's right....most of us are not worthy of one induction let alone two :-)
As he passed away and took his final breaths, there were 40 members of his family squeezed into the room as we held hands, prayed, and walked with him to heaven. St Peter opened the door to him and closed it to us. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful death.
Face it, we are all headed that way, and to pass away with such love and support is quite a testimony to his life on earth. According to the nurses, most people pass away with one or two people in the room. Often they die alone. This was not the case as he was not alone in the last week of his life as family and friends held vigils at his bedside.
With that said, I am sad and will never forget how much he impacted my life as a teenager, young adult...and yes....into my middle age.....he was a dominant figure who will not be replaced. However, given our faith, we will be reunited in heaven for 'no shower' happy hours, pizza and beer, and sitting on the heavenly porch just chatting about nothing...something....anything....
I miss you, Big M.....
'Til we meet again......