Tuesday, October 29, 2002

We're back.

Thursday evening we got a call from Patty's sister that they had just put her brother Danny back into the hospital and that he wasn't coming out this time. Danny has been fighting lung cancer since it was discovered about two years ago - he has never smoked, by the way. When they found it, he had pneumonia and was hospitalized and nearly died then, but they pulled him through. The cancer was already quite advanced, and had progressed into his lymph and adrenal glands. Last weekend we visited him after a bout in the hospital with a blood clot in a lung, and he was looking better. Looks can be deceiving however, as the doctors say that the cancer had spread throughout both lungs and moved undetected into his spine and brain. From what he said, he never felt pain, just tired and weak - bad enough for someone that was always working. Right until the moment of his final collapse he was working on remodeling his mother's kitchen - the walls are now half-finished, unpainted drywall, exposed wiring in some places. His sister's boyfriend will complete it.

The ceremony was fairly short, very moving, and was a good moment of closure for his family. He leaves three brothers, three sisters, a wife and three children, and an ex-wife and daughter behind. He has only been married to his widow for just over two years. She stuck by his side throughout the progress of the disease, without care for money, as there was every possibility that there would be nothing left - she simply loved him and wanted to keep him healthy. We had a nice wake/repast after the funeral ceremony, and many people told stories of Danny - he was a great guy.

Well, we are home again, after a four-hour drive to Jersey at night, in the rain, to arrive 20 minutes after his passing at 1:40 am friday. It would have been nice to have been able to say goodbye, but those that were with him say that he asked everyone to leave just before midnight, because he wanted to rest. Rest in peace, Danny.