Been awhile10:41:00 PM
Hello dear friends! It's been awhile I know...let's see where do I begin. Well, the same week my sweet girl got her cast. My uncle was placed in the hospital with a collapsed lung. Tuesday of last week I took Emily Grace to get her cast removed (we were SO excited!) and as we pulled out of the drive I got a call from my Grandma saying I needed to get to the hospital quick that my uncle took a turn for the worst.
Here is a little background on my uncle:
He was 64 years old and born with Cerebral Palsy after a very difficult birth. He is the eldest of my mom's family and he was and will always be...my favorite uncle. The course of the month I have been away from the blogging world as I focused my time on being by his bedside as much as I could. My kids adored him. He was ornery, feisty, stubborn, strong willed, FUNNY and to me he was always the sweetest! Despite his handicap he was extremely independent. He lived on his own (United Cerebral Palsy would come in to cook meals and assist when needed) and he worked for Seattle's Best coffee where he delivered coffee around downtown Portland, OR. Portland State was one of his major stops. He had hundreds of friends...not even kidding you! He was incredible.
I spent the last 40 hours of his life with him. It was rough saying goodbye to someone...especially when they know their last breath could come at any moment. Basically over the course of the month he went from a collapsed lung...too aspiration in the lung from the feeding tube. The aspiration caused pneumonia which in return was a constant struggle. Lack of calories meant his health was deteriorating faster. Each time they would try something new he would aspirate more till in his final days he had what they call a white out. A white out is where the x-rays show BOTH lungs completely filled with pneumonia. Once you are to that point, you basically have no hope of coming out of it.
When I walked into the room for his final hours awake (his last hours were under heavy morphine to stop the pain and help him to breath) he looked me in the eye and said "Hi". I told him "I love you Uncle Melvin...who's my favorite uncle?" (something we ALWAYS do) he replied, "I love you...I am" with a twinkle and slight smile. It broke my heart as I knew...this was going to be the last thing I heard him say to me. My uncle was feisty to everyone...but me! He would get angry if someone could not understand what he was saying as he HATED repeating himself...but with his type of Cerebral Palsy it was often times difficult to understand him. He would always look me in the eye and slowly repeat it till I understood. NEVER any fists flying in the air! He was always gentle and kind to me. My children adored him. And my daughter looked at me and said "Mommy, uncle Melvin loves us. And because of this, he will always be right here (pointing to her heart)." She was right.
My cousin Dean made this video not too long ago:
My uncle passed on July 11th at 5:15 p.m. He is extremely missed and was loved by many. The funeral home was packed. Not a seat open and people standing all around the back of the room. From the day I got the call to just yesterday I had at one point 12 people staying in my tiny house! It was actually nice to be surrounded by family. The Oregonian did a small article on him as well **HERE**. They had done a piece on him in the past. He was HUGE amongst the Starbucks family (Starbucks and Seattle's Best are owned by the same company!) and was actually honored for his success! He was one of a kind. And he is greatly missed.
My uncle LOVED WWF wrestling! He had every single DVD that contained any sort of wrestling! He had autographed pictures from Hulk Hogan from way back when! My son now has his wrestling figurines that I have always remembered him having! (the bums of them date back to 1984) and he adores them and knows they were uncle Melvin's! And yes...that is a spoon on Hulk's junk...don't ask. I couldn't tell ya! After all the kids only almost 4!