My Uncle Paul died last night.
He was hospitalized several weeks ago after being rushed to the hospital suffering from intestinal problems and fevers. My limited understanding is that he had diverticulitis and some of the pockets ruptured. Then his blood pressure, always high to begin with, shot up and he suffered some strokes. He was operated on, had part of his intestine removed, but was in a drug-induced coma for a couple of weeks. When he started to finally come out of it, he couldn't walk, could barely talk, and they weren't sure how good of a prognosis he had.
But, he left ICU, and left the hospital for a rehabilitation center. His daughter visited him. My father, his older brother, visited him. Even if he wasn't going to get much better, I was hoping for a chance to see him at Christmas.
Now I won't.
I grew up in my grandparents house, with my parents and sister. For the first few years there, my Uncle Paul was there too. He was more of a really big brother, only being 14 years older. I idolized him while as a child, and he would help babysit my kids during the last couple of summers. He kind of floated through Life--no firm career, no major goals. Married, divorced, personal problems, health problems, but he was living his Life.
And he was loved.