On Friday, August 23rd, my Uncle in Portugal (aka. Tio Antonio) died. The world lost a compassionate, kind and loving man.
Tio was just diagnosed with cancer about a month ago and sent immediately to the hospital for surgery, but unfortunately, the cancer had already taken over his entire body. It was such devastating news. My entire family was overwhelmed with such sadness. Luckily, my parents were in Portugal when he was in the hospital and got to visit with him every day during his last weeks here on earth.
Tio Antonio and Tia Ermelinda (pictured above) are amazing people and anyone who gets to be loved by them, is so very lucky. I have known them all of my life, even though I live here in the US, my parents and I visited every couple years thorough out my entire childhood. We were also fortunate enough to welcome them both here in 2003, just a few short weeks after Lilliana was born. That was their first visit to the United States and their first and only airplane ride. We were so blessed and so happy to have them here.
A couple years ago, a few months after Julian died, we decided to go to Portugal. I wanted to visit with them and with the rest of my family that still resides in Portugal. It was such an amazing and special trip and I am so glad that we were lucky enough to do that. It was the first time that they met Lucas, although they got plenty of photos, letters and phone calls.
Lilliana and Lucas absolutely loved being there and my aunt and uncle were so very happy to have us there. I remember one evening at their home, I was reading a bed time story to both of them and my uncle stopped at the bedroom door, and was just watching us and smiling. I will never forget that cherished moment. I am a very lucky woman to have such a beautiful, sweet, compassionate family.
So, as you can imagine, this sorrow has just compounded my already existing grief over losing my sweet Julian in 2011, my loving Godfather in 2012 and now my uncle in 2013. Both my Godfather and Uncle were not just part of my family, but they were like father figures to me and they accepted and loved me since I was born and it is extremely sad that they are not here on earth anymore.
Hopefully, if there is really a heaven, my Julian is there with both of these amazing men and for that, I am thankful. It makes me feel good that they are there to take care of him and that all three of them, along with my Grandparents and my other family members (my aunt, other two uncles and my two cousins) are all forming their little family there and that one day, we will all be together again. It’s a little sad that we have so much family on the other side, but I guess that is part of life. It’s just hard to handle at such a fragile time, one year after another.
This post is in memory of Tio Antonio, as we are sending him and my family all of our love and tears, as we remember all of our days with him.