Saturday, November 17, 2012

Wanted: Cancer - - For Murder

Notes of sarcasm will be used, if you cant figure out what they are, don't bother reading on... i am still adjusting to the news that my Dear Uncle Joe is no longer here, BUT.. his stubborn ass hung on long enough, and like he said, it would be us poor suckers left behind to mourn him... Ain't that the truth.. The call came to me November 16th, 2012 at 9:46pm, from his first wife... and as soon as I saw her name on the phone, I knew that he was gone.. and got that tight feeling in my chest and throat as I answered the phone...

Just 9 months ago, I got a call from his her wife, telling me that Joe had cancer, and i was just dumbfounded.. i cried a bit, and then she helped me get into touch with him.. we are estranged because in 2007 his Dad died of the same type of Cancer.. When he died, Joe was in pain and said things to the family and just walked away.. I really tried to stay in touch..

Our first call.. and all calls after, were at work, on lunch, on break, a quick little hello, how are you feeling type calls.. texts, and wow, a lot of conversations, a lot of fixing old hurts.  He will always be missed, the way we use to torment each other.  The day we were in the kitchen, and I smarted off to him, and he turned me over his knee and spanked my ass.. damn that big hand hurt.. left a nice print... me being 30 and him being nearly 40.... what a pain he was, but we just loved him.  Fun Loving, Generous and a Royal pain in my ass.. we cracked jokes that the rest in the family just didn't get, but we were having fun, once he chased me down the long hallway at my Grandparents after I stuck my tongue out at him... hahahaha, didn't catch me sucker, did ya.. Not til later.. I was walking by him, and he grabbed my wrist, and man he was strong, them big meat hooks as I called them, had me good.   What was I to do, but turn on the charm, and the brown eyes, and he was putty... hahahaha... again, i win!

Why did i win, cause i was so feisty to him, and bossy... but, we had complete love for each other. We walked memory lanes path for months, talking about how he taught me to use a nail gun the right way, and not put a nail thru his hand like he did.... OUCHY, still makes me cringe thinking about it and picturing his hand with an entrance and an exit wound.. "Dont let it slip kid, or you are FUCKED" is what he said to me.. with that twinkle in his eye.. so great, im holding a giant nail gun in my hand and he's holding down the wall joint for the cabinent... and im thinking to myself.. Don't screw up, cause if you do, its probably gonna be his hand.. after the first two fires, I was ok... and for years, used the nail gun like no big deal..

So many memories, and as I think of them, I have been writing them down.. my son never got to meet him, he is 4, but he will be told all about Dear Uncle Joe...

As I got older, more on my own, I flew down to Cali, and stayed with him and the family for two weeks, and what a blast... took me up to the snow at Big Bear, had a great dinner at a cafe up there.. and then the next day, he took off work and we went to Disneyland.. what a blast we had... his wife was pregnant, so it wasn't much fun for her, but we had a good time...

With the holidays approaching, it will be a bit difficult to imagine that Christmas morning, I wont get that call.. even in my 20's and 30's, loved waiting for our call from Joe.. I was always reminded not to get the phone but to let his Dad answer, but his Dad always handed the phone to me to answer.. all of us at my Grandparents and then he and his family in Cali... he never got to come up here for the holidays.. and that is a whole other story about someones selfishness... and it isnt his.. anyhow I almost strayed from my theme of sarcasm to snarky.... keep the focus girl LOL

His Cancer started in his Colon, they removed half of his large intestine, the giant tumor, and three feet of his small intestine.. and things really started to look up.  But then the cancer spread to his Liver and more chemo, he was fighting a good fight.. then, he confided in me during one of our calls, his 2nd wife, who I have never met, she sounds like an angel... so glad they married, but, she didnt even know then, but they found cancer in his blood, and then, he learned into his lungs.. My last call to him was in October, we just talked, I cried a little, not because I knew he was dying, but because I wouldn't probably ever get to see his stubborn ass again.  He said to me.. "Kid, if you were able, you'ld come down down and take care of me, Just like you did with my Dad?"  I said, Yes i would..

When his Dad entered his final days, My Mom and I were in the Caribbean.. and as soon as we landed in Houston, i turned on my phone, and immediately my Grandma called asking for me to come to the house.. she said my Cousin would be there to pick me up, and he did, drove me up to their home, and Grandfather was there in his bed, and he totally knew who we were, said hello, and asked me to help him.  But, I knew it was soon... my cousin had to go to work and couldn't stay, so he left, my Aunt left, Hospice nurse left, and Grannie went to bed after I made a run to the pharmacy.... to get a patch to help with drying out, as he was starting to foam... I'll never remember the last thing the Hospice Nurse said to me... as she handed me a bottle of Morphine, she said, "IF he gets to MUCH, he WILL DIE.!" It was like she was giving me permission to overdose him, and I could not do that, would not do that! and then have to live with that... So, it grew quiet in the house, I had the the off, the heat on, and called Joe, we talked for a bit and then he had to go.. So, I talked to Grandfather who by this time, was spiraling down.... I took a break from suctioning him with a turkey baster because he was foaming so much... trying to breathe... but I had to call my work, and I got approved for two weeks of FMLA.  Which was later denied, because he was my Step Grandfather.. Fuckers.. anyhow.. the phone rang, and it was Joe, we talked, he couldn't be with us, because he was going thru a very messy divorce and had to stay in California.  He told me that i was so strong, to be there and so loved, to also again, be doing this.  I said, I love him like he was blood... and that is what we do for family and friends we love.  The end jobs aren't always the prettiest..

He had me put the phone up to his Dad's ear, and let him talk for a bit, and checked a couple times to see if he was done, and there were responses from Grandfather, a little smirk, a little smile... I am not sure in those few moments what Joe was saying to him, nor was it my business, that was Father/Son time.. and when he finished, Joe and I talked for about 45 more minutes, and he asked me what all i was doing for him.. And I told him I was suctioning him, pulling the fluid from his mouth, and then, I noticed his hands.. his powerful huge hands.. they had turned frail, in just a matter of days, and then I saw it... his nails were turning black... and then silence.... I choked back my tears, and interrupted Joe telling me a story about his Dad.. I had to get his attention.. "Joe, your Dad has just passed away."  His reply, NO FUCKING WAY!  YOU CHECK... I said, I did, I checked for his pulse, and there wasn't one.. I saw his heart pump one last time.. I ached, I had just experienced the most humbling thing ever.. someones last breath, someones last second on earth... I didn't cry, was just awe struck... Joe says to me, check his pulse, I said i just did, there is nothing there, YOU COUNT AGAIN he screams at me.. I said, I can count to fucking Zero, what more do you want.. and well, we both laughed a bit.. Humor was apart of the three of us.. even Dannie, my Grandfather would have seen the humor in that..

I got off the phone with Joe, covered Dannie up, and went to wake my Grandma, who also checked him, and nothing. I called our dear neighbor Russ, who is the fire chief in the town they lived in.. but the phone was busy... he said if it happened, to call and he would bring his friend who was the funeral director in the little town.  But again, calling, calling, busy signal, so, its nearly midnight, and I drive down to his house and bang on the back door.. he answers it in his underwear.. (insert giggle) and says, why didnt you call, I said the phone is busy... he yells at his daughter and kisses my forehead and tells me he will follow just gotta get my clothes on.

My Grandfather had a DNR and no life sustaining heroics signed, but the EMT's that showed up who were called by the neighbor to have him declared passed.. wanted to try and save him.  I sat on his bed, and told them if you touch him, we are going to have problems.  Because I knew after a half hour, they wouldn't be able to anyhow.  So, the Chief just sent them back.  I helped Grandma get ready, called Joe back, and they took Grandfather away.. I was so removed from the emotional part, because I was the caretaker, I have still yet to cry over his passing.

But the second the phone rang to tell me Joe had passed away... I sobbed uncontrollably, and have been off and on, thoughts come into my head, and I laugh, then I cry, because he was such an important person.  But as with all things, they must come to an end, even a life.  He lived a well life.. even at age 47 and living with full systemic Cancer.. he did his very best with what cards he was dealt... wish I could say that he turned around with a Royal Flush, but, sadly, no, Ace's and 8's and my heart just breaks...

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