04/03/16 11:54 Home, listening to the strong winds blowing through Long Island
Uncle Rocky passed away on Friday night. It was not a surprise. He was diagnosed with emphysema more than twenty years ago. The last ten years he had an oxygen tank to assist his breathing. He’s been pushed in a wheel chair for the past few years. His quality of life may have been impacted and yet his strength and easy smile would warm any room. For the past few weeks he was in and out of the hospital. His body was slowly dying. On Thursday, he was transferred to hospice. Aunt Barbara, his wife had a dream on Friday; their granddaughter, who had passed years before at 15 told Barbara (in the dream) that Pop was going to join her that day. Just before 22:00, he passed, surrounded by family and much love. Rocco was courageous, accepting his impending death and as he said, “Not wanting to be a burden on his family.” He knew he was not going to get better. The family and Rocco had the opportunity to say their good-byes and most of the family were prepared to let him pass. Not that it is easy for anyone to say good-bye. My father-in-law was and still is distraught with the idea that his older brother is dead. The thought that we will not see Rocco presses into our hearts and minds. There is the funeral arrangements, the wake and the mass. His body will be cremated. Flowers to be ordered, donations to hospice. I understand the hospice staff were warm and comforting with the family and let them know what stages were taking place. After they administered the morphine he declined rapidly. Friday night, Ali and I were at the high school where Joe was in a one act play. Ali left during intermission since Joe was not on the stage in the second play. After the second play, I dropped him off at the diner where he met friends. I took Bella home and came upstairs to read. Ali sent a text to let us know of the passing. I picked up Joe at the diner, his phone had died so he was not aware. I broke it to him. Bella started sobbing in the back seat. Joe was crying. We picked Emma up at work and went inside Target. She was crying and I hugged her. We walked around the aisles aimlessly for a couple of minutes. A message came over the loud speaker that the store was closing in five minutes. We met Emma Tess outside and drove home. Inside the car, there were sniffles. Under the stars and night clouds…we thought of Rocco…Rocco Maniaci may you rest in peace with all those who departed before, and may you be welcomed by them within a new love.
Thank you for reading this.