Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Final Journey

Uncle Marvin: 12/6/1920 - 8/16/2011

Uncle Marvin - circa 1921

I was driving back from an early morning dentist appointment when my cell phone started ringing. I answered, using my hands-free, blue tooth system in my car. It was my Uncle Marvin, calling from the hospital, where he was being cared for, against his wishes.

After telling me he just wanted to go back home to die, he made sure he let me know that he loved me. He also wanted me to "think good thoughts of him".

I arrived home to the stares of my teenage son, wondering what the dentist did to make my cry.

To Go or Not to Go

After my Uncle and his wife, Janet had moved from California to a Connecticut Assisted Living community to be closer to Aunt Janet's family, I had promised I'd try to visit more often.
The first year I brought my eldest son with me.

Last year I brought my middle son, a year after Janet passed away. It was a nice time to bond with one of my boys and spend some time with Marvin. I took lots of photos and posted on my blog to share with Marv as well as my blog friends.

This year was Colin's turn to visit. Alex had a friend that just moved out to Westchester County, NY and wanted to go again. Devon had a lot going on and was glad to stay home. After much contemplation, I booked the tickets. I also bought flight insurance which I decided not to use.

Marvin was able to return home although after one day of rallying, he took a turn for the worse and passed away just a few days before we were to arrive. I have a feeling this is what my uncle preferred.
Marvin and Janet together again

The Last Visit
The boys on a early morning flight

Things have a way of working out. Marvin was finally able to join his wife and was at peace. I was able to help pack up some of the apartment (although I wish I could have helped more). There was also an informal memorial and luncheon. We had a chance to spend time with some of my Aunt's family, meeting most of them for the first time in person. We were able to share fond memories of Marvin, fulfilling his wish of "thinking good thoughts".

We also had a day to visit NYC with Alex's friend Matthew, Matthew's mom and sister who just moved a week earlier. The highlight for the kids was a visit to Dylan's Candy Bar. It also was an adventure in navigating the city using trains, taking the subway and a cab ride for six.

Dylan's Candy Bar - a little (expensive) piece of heaven

Family Treasures

Aside from the memories from the trip, I also am treasuring some old family photos that were among my uncle's collection. My personal favorite is this portrait of my grandparents with my dad and uncle.

I'd like to think that they have reunited in heaven and are watching down over us.


Tara R. said...

Your uncle sounds like a cool guy. I am so sorry for your loss.

terri said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm sure your uncle was so appreciative of the way you kept in touch with him and spent time with him whenever possible.

wornoutwoman a.k.a. Kimberly McKay said...

I'm sorry for your loss. I love the old pictures you posted. :)