Peace be with you

Dad passed Saturday, August 30, 9.05am. 

We could not have witnessed a more peaceful death.  

Mom's best friend, Auntie Josie, arrived from CA the night before. After our usual three nights in Jersey City, Al & I decided to make a run to Parlin. I wasn't sure if we should leave Jersey City that night. Dad had vomited what seemed like coffee grounds a few times in the last couple of days and had pretty much been out of it what with the morphine, fentanyl and ABR patches. But every time we'd gone back to Parlin for a night, Dad was still there the next day. 

Mom called 7.20am on Saturday morning, asking us to come up to Jersey City then and not to wait until lunchtime.  In a second call, she asked us to swing by Our Lady of Mercy to pick up the priest since he didn't have a car.  

We arrived at my parents' home around 8.45am. Auntie Aurea and Uncle Regino were also on their way from CT.  

Father Ralph gave Dad his last rites.  (I think we've had a dozen priests from more than one denomination provide last rites to Dad during his hospice care at home).  His breathing was staggered, his fingertips cold.  

"Al & I are here, Dad.  We love you.  Go meet everyone now." 

On oxygen, Dad snarled with every last breath. Then he stopped.  Three gurgles followed. (I'd been listening for the gurgles for more than three weeks). And that was it.  

Dad actually waited for the very final word of his last rites to be uttered, and he waited for Al & me to be at his side too.  

I will cherish that moment for the rest of my life. 

Family & friends:  Thank you so much for your prayers and thoughtful words of sympathy.  We appreciate your heartfelt condolences tremendously.  Love & peace be with you.

Given the long holiday weekend, we are currently finalizing Memorial Mass details.  Dad will be cremated. At Dad's request, there will be no wake.  Though some Catholic churches are particular about cremation, we are hopeful that the service will be held Saturday, September 6, 10am, at Our Lady of Mercy Parish, 40 Sullivan Drive, Jersey City, where Mom & Dad attended Mass every morning until he no longer was able to do so.  Final details to follow.  Thank you for your patience.