Learning To Love You More




Assignment #31
Spend time with a dying person.

Plymouth, Indiana USA



I spent November of 2003 with my dying uncle. He was 59 and had no children. He had cancer everywhere in his body that I can think of a person possibly having. He never really complained at that time. He was agitated months before with his withering condition, but he was peaceful in his last month. In fact, he seemed benevolent. He would say strange things that wouldn't mean anything at the time, but a few days later they would become apparent... as if he could see the future. One night he started whispering, "Give up the ghost, Bert...". A few days later, we saw a man named Bert in the obituaries. Another night he started whispering, "Fire! Fire!" He seemed rather bothered, but there was no fire in sight.
We moved him back home to be taken care by of Hospice. I sat in his office looking out the window onto his farm. Looking back on the moment, I felt rather drawn to the window. I saw my father, one of his youngest brothers, moving a very old tractor to make room for the other brothers to park at the house. I usually don't watch my dad do that kind of thing, but I felt I had to keep watching... perhaps out of nostalgia. All of a sudden, a large fire came out of the exhaust pipe of the tractor.
I froze in amazement.
Being poor and broke, I brought my uncle a single white rose the next day. He dazily looked at me and said, "She brought me a posie... I love you."
The day after I prayed with the priest and my family with my uncle who simply sat. He couldn't speak anymore, but he looked us all in the eyes as if to say goodbye. I kissed him goodbye that day.
He died three hours later.