Tio Ismael

I’ve started this post about six times in the last five days. There’s so much more that I’m feeling that it doesn’t feel like I’m using the right words to say what I’m trying to say. I went to New Jersey over the past weekend for my great uncle Ismael’s passing. He was in the hospital early last week for a fall. He had been battling cancer for eight years, and at this point, after his fall, they found a tiny mass in his brain and his kidneys rapidly failed. He was in ICU for two days, and was transferred to a regular room, with morphine for the pain. He died less than 24 hours later.

My mom, uncle and I were preparing travel plans when he was admitted to the hospital, but he passed so quickly we didn’t make it. My heart broke into a thousand pieces upon hearing of his passing, and I knew, just as I knew eight years ago, that I had to go to New Jersey and say my goodbyes for a man who’s selflessness, compassion and love played a huge influence in my life.

His wake was standing room only, with guests from all phases of his life paying their respects. The line to greet my aunt and give condolences was out the door for most of the evening. The church service was so touching, by a priest who was close to him and my aunt, it was filled with stories and knowing my uncle, I can picture the story being retold actually happening. I am so very grateful that I had the opportunity to go to New Jersey and be there with the rest of our family, and that I have a lifetime of memories to hold onto.

Que descanzes en paz, Tio Ismael. Nunca te olvidare. Fuistes no solo un tio-abuelo maravilloso, sino una persona ejemplar. Estoy llena de tristeza porque nos dejastes, pero llena de orgullo del legado que dejastes en nuestra familia.

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