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The Last Days With Uncle Rich

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The Jets are playing the Houston Texans. Mark Sanchez the Quarterback drops back and finds Dustin Keller open in the end zone. We yell, “TOUCHDOWN Jets!” The score is 7-0 Jets. “J- E –T- S, Jets, Jets, Jets!” everyone yells. This reminded me of my favorite uncle, Rich. He was one of the finest uncles and people I have ever met and I will never forget him.

It was September 6, 2010. My Father received a phone call from my Nana mentioning we must go to Arizona as soon as we can. When my Dad informed me about this I didn’t know what was going on. I was in the middle of watching the Vikings and Saints on TV. Once I thought it through I realized my Uncle must not have been doing well.

When I got to Arizona I walked into his room, quietly. When I saw my favorite Uncle I could not recognize him. His cancer had progressed so much; it was hard to see what he really looked like. I was stunned, I found it very hard to look at him or even talk to him. When he saw me he was very happy. I asked him, “How are you doing?” He said, “I am doing good today” but I knew he really wasn’t. When I left his room I started to gush into tears. I felt like I was in a huge dream. I didn’t think this was really happening to me. Then I went in to his movie room; my Aunt didn’t think he was going to make it through the night. Once I left the room, my Mom asked me if I wanted to go to the gas station, with my cousin Rachel to get my Uncle a smoothie. He can only have liquids, now. He can no longer eat any solid foods. Towards the end of the day my Uncle got up and watched the Yankee game with everyone.

Then the next day I went back to his house and thankfully he made it through the night. The horrible thing is, he was getting very weak. He now, could no longer walk. When I walked into his room he was in the mood to talk about the Yankees. I asked, “Do you think Jeter is going to make another year?” and he said, “Well I guess he could go another year.” I left the room because I wanted him to rest. I wanted to try to make him forget about the cancer and I think I did. On the same day a priest came to the house. I got very worried because I never had seen a priest come to a house before. When that ended, my Mother said, “The priest will have to come everyday because he is getting Uncle Rich ready for heaven.” My dad asked me, “Do you want to go into your Uncle’s room and talk to him?” I said yes.

My Brother, Father and me went into Uncle Rich’s room. When we walked in, he was watching golf. We started to talk about golf, the Jets and the Yankees. I asked him if the Jets had a chance to go all the way but he didn’t really respond. He was losing his voice, too. I walked out of the room because I wanted him to get more rest. My Grandfather had just arrived. I felt they needed time alone.

The next day came and it was the last day with my uncle. I went back into his room and he barely could talk. Toward the end of the day I saw him. The last words I said to him were, “I love you.” He said back “I love you too.” When we were about to leave the house my Dad said to my Aunt “Thanks for taking care of him.” They both started to cry. On the way back to the hotel, I started to cry. I knew I was not going to see him again.

When I got on the airplane, and we started took off I could not stop crying because we started to fly towards his house. It reminded me of him. It took about 30 minutes to stop the tears. During that time I started to remember all of the fun times we had together. Like when we went to the Diamondbacks game, I can still hear the crack of the bat. Another time was when he showed me all of his cool Yankee stuff. I can still telling me all of the facts about sports.

About a week later on September 23 my Dad received a phone call stating my uncle had passed away in the afternoon. When my Dad informed me this I didn’t think this was happening to me. I started to cry and all you could hear in my room was silence. It took about an hour to stop crying but during that time I was look back at the thing we did again. Now if I want to talk to someone about sports it is going to be hard to adjust to someone else other then him.





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