If you are reading this for the first time and want to hear the whole story, look under "BLOG ARCHIVE" on the right. Read the oldest blog first, starting with "The Diagnosis" in January 2009 (click on it) and continuing down. The blog you see below is the most recent and you want to read it last.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Final Entry

It was part of my father’s final wishes that I compose his last blog entry.
I am flattered that he thinks my writing is “eloquent” enough to bring closure to something that has come to mean so much to so many people…. but my dad is a tough act to follow!

First of all, since I have the forum to do so, I need to thank all the people (and there were hundreds – I am not exaggerating!) who took part in my father’s wake and funeral services. He used to worry that “no one would come”, and surely would have been blown away by the number of people who came to pay respects. I’m sure I am not just speaking for myself when I say that everyone was so loving and supporting, and the prayers were definitely felt, and brought us a great deal of comfort. All of my father’s final wishes were carried out: Sr. Sylvia (his angel) gave a beautiful prayer service at the wake, people made donations to St. Jude’s instead of sending flowers, my brother AJ stood to his right, Taryn sang beautifully at the funeral mass which was con-celebrated by Fr. Flanagan and Father Herb, my dad’s in-law’s did the readings, and people brought photos & other fun trinkets to bury my father with, along with one of Terry’s homemade blankets. Every detail was met, none to small. I think we did him proud.

My father truly left this world with no regrets. He said everything that needed to be said, and even left letters and gifts for the people who were closest to him. There is however one more thing I know he wanted to do, and it is my fault he didn’t get to do so….
He wanted to tell his blog readers (who have all come to mean so much to him) that he was going to become a grandfather this December.

When I found out I was pregnant, I could not wait to tell my dad. I knew he would be so excited. My husband and I really wanted to wait until the end of my first trimester to tell everyone, but made an exception for parents. Since I am due in December, we wrapped a framed picture of the ultrasound in Christmas paper, and gave it to him as an “early Christmas present”. Dad was ecstatic, and wanted to tell everyone right away. My husband and I understood, but really wanted to wait until the end of my first trimester to go public. I ended the first trimester the day after my father died.

I know he couldn’t wait to tell the world he was going to be a grandpa. He may not be here now to do that himself, and I am sorry for that, but to make up for it, I can share with you the video of when we told him. I don’t think he would mind.

There are so many qualities of my father that I hope our child inherits. I hope he or she is able learn from adversity, always advocate for themself, find humor in things that make other people cringe, and find it in their heart to help others – even when they are struggling. (I also hope our child shares my dad’s love for theater, passion for holiday decorating, and appreciation for diner food!)

Not only will my father live on in our child, but I hope he lives on through all of you. All he ever wanted was to attach some kind of meaning, or purpose, to his battle. If even one person has learned something from it, whether it be about a certain kind of chemo or just how to how to laugh when you feel like crying, I know that goal will obtained. Take what he has shown you, apply it to your life, make positive changes while you still can. But most importantly, stay strong and carry on.

With sincere thanks and love, Heather Wyman Boccassini 

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Jerry passed on June 2, 2011 at 11:40 a.m. The last two and half years have been a fight for my husband's life. We spent many hours talking about how it would be at that final moment. His biggest fear was that it would be painful. I promised him it would not. We spoke often of the afterlife and that moment when he would be taken from earth and transported to heaven...how it would be....who would come for him....would he be aware.....would he be afraid. We spent many hours speaking with clergy trying to put his mind at rest. He wondered if his Dad would be the one to come for him.....he prayed his Dad would be the one to come for him. I asked if at all possible, for him to give me a sign and let me know.

My husband's last minutes:

He spent his last days in a hospital bed in our den where family and friends spent countless hours visiting. The bed was alongside a picturesque sliding patio door that overlooked our beautiful patio and pool that Jerry took such pride and enjoyment in. His greatest joy was to see people joining in the pleasure of our backyard....our 'little piece of paradise'. As I sat by my husband's bedside and his breathing deepened, I asked him if he was in pain, he shook his head "no". He pointed in the direction of the patio door to the oxygen tank immediately in front to the bottom right of the glass pane. I attempted to give him oxygen but only to have him push it away. I became frustrated as he was trying to tell me something but I couldn't understand. He then grabbed my hand and gently and softly kissed it. I kissed his back. Within minutes he drew his last breath and left us.

As I sit here in his chair that has now replaced the hospital bed, I'm looking outside of that patio door and it's so clear to me now. I believe my husband kept his promise. The following was the 'sign' I asked for: I believe now he was pointing to the outside (not the oxygen) to tell me his Dad was waiting, surrounded by angels. I believe now he kissed my hand to say goodbye, it was time for him to go.

I believe my husband kept his promise and this was his way of telling me.... there was no pain, his Dad did come for him, and yes he was aware of it all, and no he was not afraid.

It is so comforting for me to know he went in peace, the way we prayed for and that he loved me enough to find a way to let me know.

I thank you all for your prayers, support and most of all the encouragement you gave to Jerry. Every e-mail, every comment, every card gave him the strength to go on.

I love you Jrrrrr and thank you so much for sharing your life with me....Trrrrr

Carry on............................