Thursday - April 02, 2015
This morning I knelt at my big brother's side... holding his hand tightly so I could feel his pulse... his heartbeat... pounding through my fingers and my palm. I felt the warmth of his body. I listened to the slowing beeps of the heart-monitor echoing in the room. I held on tightly to his pulse as it slowly became softer and less frequent... until finally I could feel it no more. I still held on... until I was the only one left in the room with him... holding tighter and tighter, feeling the warmth drift away from his skin... slowly replaced by a cool touch that let me know with no uncertainty that my hero was gone. I cried tears more painful than any I have ever shed in my almost four decades of life. My tears fell, splashing onto his skin until the back of his hand was completely drenched. It was my way of anointing him. It was the only thing I could offer him.
Before all of this... just moments before the machine-forced breaths were ended and the tubes were removed, I had a moment alone to whisper in his ear. I will never share with anyone all of what it was I said to my big brother. That is for me. That is mine to keep... and I'm sorry but you cannot have that. I will say that it included so many "I love you"s that I lost count. I will say that I never once said "Goodbye". I refused to. "Goodbye" at such moments is forever... and I fully intend to see my brother again. It may be many decades from now... but somehow I just "know" that it WILL happen. It's the only thing I have faith in anymore.
This afternoon my sister-in-law Angel, my brother Kenneth and I gathered to make the funeral arrangements to fulfill Peter's wishes as best as we possibly could... with heavy influence and input from Peter's eldest daughters, Frannie and Jessica. I think we got it as close to "right" as we could. The Wake will be on Monday, April 6th from 4PM to 8PM at Hoyt Cognetta Funeral Home - 5 East Wall Street - Norwalk, CT 06851. The Funeral Mass will take place on Tuesday, April 7th at 10:00AM at St. Matthew's Church - 216 Scribner Avenue - Norwalk, CT 06854. All are welcome to attend these celebrations of the life of a truly wonderful man.
A lot of you have sent messages, posted comments, sent texts, left voicemails, etc.. My phone has been buzzing non-stop for the past few days. I apologize that I cannot respond to each and every one of you right now. Yes, right now I am OK. We are all doing the best that one could expect right now. The coming days will be very tough. I will be spending a good portion of the next couple of days writing the Eulogy for the Funeral Mass. I might be offline at times... I might be difficult to get in touch with. Please do not take that personally or think that I am ignoring you. Please know that my entire family and I are extremely touched and appreciative of all of your comments... your prayers... your thoughts... your messages... your support. It truly does mean the world to us... and we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.
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