As usual yesterday (Sunday) we went to visit Mom. Whilst there she told me that an "Uncle" of mine was not well at all. In fact, he had been diagnosed with a cancer tumour on the brain, as well as cancer on the lungs.
On the way back home, I dropped the Princess and GMan off at some friends, and then went around to the DiEmidio family home. Zio DiEmidio was not family as such, but he had been there throughout my life, and typical of Italian custom, he was my "Uncle". He came to South Africa originally with my dad, and they had stayed friends for the rest of their lives.
I found the family in relatively good spirits, and the uncle's brother and nephew were down from Italy as well, so I got to speak to them for a while as none of the other family can speak Italian!
Anyway, going inside and spending some time with Zio Berardo, he was very ill. He could not open his eyes (tired/weak/pressure from the tumour?), but did recognise who I was, and nodded when I spoke to him, asked him something, told him something.
After a while I went back outside, had a long chat with the visitors from Italy, and then said my goodbye's and left. I offered to be available to ferry the visitors around if need be.
This morning at 7am my Mom called to say that he had passed away yesterday evening.
R.I.P. Zio Bernardo. A very special man has passed, and will have joined my Dad in that big cantina in the sky. You worked hard all your life, and have left a good legacy in your sons and daughters. We will miss you, but are grateful for the time we had with you. I am glad that you were spared the pain of a long suffering, and were taken so quickly. Yes, we who remain behind will mourn you, but know this, our mourning is short lived as your children will forge ahead and continue to build on that foundation you have set for them.