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TOO FAST...father-in-law Salvador Castillo Marez called home


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Oh my gosh...I never thought I would be posting in this so soon. When he was put on hospice, I thought we would still have a few weeks, maybe a month. I think the easiest thing to do right now is just post some excerpts from emails I sent out to close family and friends.

From Tuesday, Aug. 12:

Here it is just 3-1/2 weeks after learning that Salvador's (Sr.) cancer was back in 3 places, including the brain, we all said our goodbyes tonight (Tues) and are unsure how much longer he will last. He was barely holding on when I left to bring our kids and my niece home. (My)Salvador stayed with his brothers and his mom to wait the night out. So hard to know what to say. I have learned that cancer can be so cruel, do such damage in such a quick span of time (Santos, my brother-in-law said tonight he finally understood Dr. Kevorkian and why he does what he does), but the knowledge that family and friends can help sustain one another holds true and for that we are so very thankful. I don't know when you will read this but am hoping you will send thoughts and prayers of emotional healing our way, especially for my mother-in-law, Sally.

From Friday, Aug. 15:

We lost him on Wednesday at 3:35 in the afternoon. Kate,my daughter, was standing right there with her dad when Grandpa took his last breath. He had shown signs that his kidneys had shut down and was struggling so hard to breathe even with the oxygen concentrator that they took him off and (my)Salvador told him it was time to go home to God. I was off at the pharmacy on a run for more morphine because I was the only one who knew where to go from accompanying my mother-in-law. I am too exhausted to share more details, but I will soon. Somehow I think it helps me to better process life when I can write about it. I will say that the last few days were a blur but seem like weeks. I have spent a lot of time staying strong so I can help the kids process the whole thing. We will be having Salvador's (Sr.) funeral mass next Saturday and I am doing up a PowerPoint slideshow to share at the reception that will follow. I think it will help many of those who saw him at the end, a shell of the man he was just a week prior, to remember happier times and maybe spark some good healing conversations. (My)Salvador will be doing a small eulogy toward the end of the service and we are all going to help him write it when we go to the ocean (his dad's favorite place) a few days this next week. We think it will be good to get Sally away for a few days while waiting for his ashes and the death certificate to both be ready. Thanks for the supportive thoughts and prayers, and please, keep them coming.

It is just too much to fathom. This picture I added was taken on August 1, my mother-in-law's birthday. Her heart is now constantly breaking and I have never witnessed such sorrow as when they came to get his body from us. We stayed at their place on Wed. and Thurs. but she insisted on being alone Friday. I know she needs to do that, but it is hard to think of her crying alone. We really have been grieving since last Saturday. When my husband and his brothers had to carry their 56 yr. old macho dad up stairs and put him in bed, they lost it for the 1st time. My daughter and nieces will never forget their daddies and tough uncles with tears running down their cheeks. We all miss him so terribly much. My mother-in-law said later on Wednesday night after they had taken him away, "Karen, I just never really thought it would happen." Losing the love of your life is just so incomprehensible. I am so glad now that my son has his dad and grandpa's name. We call him "Trey" because he is the 3rd Salvador and none of them wanted to be called Sal. He is only 5 1/2 years old but since we lived so close and he spent every Monday of the school year there, I am praying he will have memories of his grandpa.

Thanks for prayers for my family, especially my mother-in-law, Sally.

God bless~


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i am so sorry for the family's loss. My family was shocked as you were about how fast the cancer can take hold of one. My own father was suppose to have 2 months to live when he was gone in 3 days just like your father-in-law.. May God give much support to you and your family during this hard time. May your mother-in-law find peace in the weeks to come..

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Thank you everyone for your kind thoughts and prayers. Tomorrow is the memorial service...so these last few days and the next have just been that process of "getting through". We came across a saying my MIL had us then put on my FIL's memorial cards below his picture. Thought I would share it.

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal;

Love leaves a memory no one can steal."

So now we work through this surreal phase of our lives and hold on to those memories. Telling stories, sharing pictures, always reminding ourselves how very blessed we were to have this wonderful man in our lives...knowing we will see him again.

He loved that "Footprints" story as well, especially as he was fighting his battle against cancer, so we had that put on the back of the card to share with everyone. The Lord does truly carry us at so many times in our lives. As sad as we are for our loss, we can also take comfort in the fact that Jesus carried him on that very last journey as well.

God bless you all,

Karen M.

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