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My Special Niece & her PaPa (My Dad)


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A New Lifestyle

Many people have life changing moments, which are called rites

of passage. They change your life, they make you a better person, and you see things from a different point of view. When you experience a rite of passage you remember every bit and piece of it, up to what you were wearing that day. A rite of passage that happened in my life that I will remember the most is when my papa passed away.

My papa was the best grandfather anyone could have, we had a

very close relationship. He was very easy to talk to, and very easy to get

along with. Together we loved playing cards and tic tac toe, no matter what he always had a sly trick to beat me. I will never forget the day that he taught me how to shuffle a deck of cards, I was the happiest person in the world because to me as a little girl I was following in my papa’s

footsteps. His absolute favorite thing to do was to go 000 at the

casino, which was something that just made him so joyful. He was very lucky too, he always came home with extra cash in his pocket. Together my grandma and papa owned a condo down in Florida, we had so many memorable times there. His favorite thing to do was to play cards at the clubhouse with all of his friends and then when he was done he would see me and my sister swimming in the pool, and he would jump right in with us. He reminded me of the Energizer bunny, he keep going and going and going. Then after we would get back to the condo after a long day of swimming we would compare whose tan was darker, then he would make

my favorite, ice cream waffle sandwiches. I loved my papa, but unfortunately grandpas can’t be around forever.

I was in the car with my mom one day and it got really quiet,

you could here the birds chirping from outside the car. Then my mom finally said, “Papa went to the doctor the other day and they did some

tests, it turns out he has lung cancer.” I was so sad, I had no idea of

what to think, all that was on my mind was, “what’s going to happen next?” The next few days were pretty depressing for my papa, tests everyday and wondering what was going to happen to him. I went over the next night, after I found out. When I went into the house there was my papa, not a deck of cards in his hand, no plans to go to the casino, and no football on the television, just a blank look on his face, as he sat their on the couch staring off into space. I went over to him and tried to start conversation, but he was so depressed he had nothing much to say. That was the one time that we didn’t really have anything to say, we just sat their like we were waiting for some miracle to come out of the sky and make him better. Later that night he wanted to go watch football downstairs, so I went with him. It was very awkward, we had nothing to say or talk about, which never happened before. Not once that night did we play any type of game we just watched football the whole night, but I didn’t care I was just thankful that he was still here and I could just watch football with him. I would do anything to be able to do that now. As the weeks, and months went by his sickness got worse and he was visiting the hospital at least once a week. He soon needed an oxygen tank to breath and it was hard for him to catch his breath when he was walking. Even through that he went to the casino, because it made him cheer up a little bit. Before I knew it he was in Intensive Care, all I could think of is I have to see him is much as I can, because I knew that he wouldn’t have much longer.

On the night of August 18th, 2003 I was visiting him for the

last time, we got to play a game of tic tac toe, and he still beat me even

for as sick as he was. He looked so miserable, he had a huge oxygen mask on his face, he looked like he was ready to blast off into space. I just sat there and wished that some miracle would come from the sky and he would jump off the hospital bed and swim with me, and make waffle ice cream sandwiches with me, just one last time. By the time that visiting hours were over I started crying and with every sobbing breath that I took, I told he that I loved him. He responded and that was the first time that I saw my papa cry. The next day I woke up and I have cheer practice my parents were at the hospital and so Alyssa had to drive me there, practice was as fun as it always is. Then when I walked into my house I saw my uncle and my cousins swimming in my pool through the living room window. I was wearing my green and purple practice outfit. I

wanted to call my dad and see if my papa was okay. Well when I called my dad I asked if everything was alright and he responded with, “Not really we will talk about it when me and your mom get home”. At that second I realized that he was gone, my role model the one I looked up to was gone, just gone, never coming back. I was so depressed it didn’t seem like it was really happening. I was hoping that my mom would tap me on the shoulder and say “Wake up, it was just a bad dream”, but that never happened. My uncle drove me to meet my parents at my cousin’s soccer game, and as I went over there to give my mom a hug, she started to cry and mumbled, “He’s gone, papas gone”.

It was and still is a struggle everyday without him.

Especially when I go over my grandma’s house and I go into the T.V room and he’s not there, not playing his hand held poker game, no football game on, and no one sitting in his chair that’s color looks like the bottom of the ocean floor , no one just an empty room.

This experience in my life it a total rite of passage, it showed me how to appreciate people more, and not to take people for granted

because you don’t have them forever.

My very special niece, Krystelle, wrote this about her grandpa, my precious dad.

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Hi Cathy,

That’s beautiful. Peace, take care and God Bless.

Thanks Rich


The Power Of People Helping People / The Power Of Knowledge / The Power Of God / The Power Of Believing / The Power Of Positive Thinking / The Power Of Never Taking No For An Answer / That’s The Key


http://www.usnews.com/usnews/nycu/healt ... hqcanc.htm (Best Hospitals)

https://www.alcase.org/advocacy/sign_the_petition.html (Advocacy /Sign the Petition)

http://www.cancersymptoms.org (Oncology Nursing Society)

http://www.plwc.org/plwc/MainConstructo ... 08,00.html http://www.alcase.org/education/publica ... reath.html (With Every Breath A Lung Cancer Guidebook / From ALCASE / A Wealth Of Information / Free)

http://www.cancersurvivaltoolbox.org (The Cancer Survival Toolbox / Free / From NCCS)

http://www.centerwatch.com (Clinical Trails Listing Service / Center Watch)

http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&editi ... ung+cancer (Lung Cancer In The News)

http://www.thewellnesscommunity.org/pro ... /guide.asp (The Wellness Community / National Cancer Support, Education And Support / Free)

http://www.drugs.com (Drug Information Online)

http://www.alcase.org (ALCASE / Alliance For Lung Cancer Advocacy, Support, Education)

http://www.nlm.nih.gov (Unites States / National Library Of Medicine)

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/encyclopedia.html (Health Information / Medical Encyclopedia)

http://www.google.com (Great Search Engine)

http://blochcancer.org (R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation, Inc. / Please read: A Letter to all newly diagnosed cancer patients)

http://www.cancer.org (American Cancer Society)

http://www.cancer.gov (Cancer Information Service / NCI)

http://www.cancerresearchcenter.org (Cancer Research Center)

http://www.aicr.org (American Institute for Cancer Research; Nutrition Hotline / AICR)

http://www.cancerhopenetwork.org (Cancer Hope Network)

http://www.acor.org (Association of Cancer Online Resources / Free Online Lifeline For Everyone Affected By Cancer & Related Disorders)

http://www.meds.com/lung/lunginfo.html (Lung Cancer Information Library)

http://www.lungusa.org (American Lung Association)

http://www.ama-assn.org (American Medical Association)

http://www.docguide.com/news/content.ns ... g%20Cancer (Doctor’s Guide / Lung Cancer)

http://www.healthfinder.gov/Scripts/Sea ... ?topic=506 (Healthfinder)

http://www.medicinenet.com/Lung_Cancer/article.htm (Medicine Net)

http://www.cancerindex.org/clinks2l.htm (Cancer Index / Lung Cancer Resources Directory)

http://www.nfcr.org/site/PageServer?pag ... ncers_lung (National Foundation For Cancer Research)

http://www.patientadvocate.org (Patient Advocate Foundation)

http://www.lungcanceronline.org/effects ... fects.html (Lung Cancer Online / Hematologic (Blood) Effects)

http://www.cancerlinks.org/lung.html (Lung Cancer Links)

http://www.cancer-free.com (Cancer Free Connections)

http://www.healthinsite.gov.au/topics/C ... ung_cancer (Health Insite)

http://www.lungcancerclaims.com (Lung Cancer / Lung Cancer Information Page)

http://www.cancerlifecenter.com/engine. ... =dictionar (Cancer Life Center/ Cancer Dictionary)

http://www.canceryellowpages.com/Resour ... G%20CANCER (Cancer yellow Pages)

http://icare.org (ICARE / The International Cancer Alliance)

http://www.vh.org/index.html (Virtual Hospital)

http://www.lungcanceronline.org/support/financial.html (Lung Cancer Online / Financial, Legal & Insurance Issues)

http://cancernews.healthology.com/focus ... cancernews (Cancer News)


If I Could Catch a Rainbow:

If I could catch a rainbow, I would do it just for you, And share with you its beauty, On the days you’re feeling blue. If I could build a mountain, You call your very own, A place to find serenity, A place to be alone. If I could take your troubles, I would toss them in the sea, But all these things I’m finding, Are impossible for me. I cannot build a mountain, Or catch a rainbow fair, But let me be what I know best A friend that’s always there. Author Unknown


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Such a wonderful testimony to the life of a wonderful man. This is so very beautiful and so well written. It is truly obvious that the words were written from a very loving heart! I wish I had the ability to express my feelings as clearly and lovingly as your neice has done in honor of her papa!

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