Monday, July 6, 2009


Rod Mcatee. July 6, 2009. He has peace. He is taking his last gentle, shallow breaths. He got into a boat and road out to the middle of a lake and dropped his line in early this morning. Left his barely functioning body behind. He was not scared. He was ready to go. He told me so yesterday.

He said "goodbye" through the hole in his neck...we know not how he even made the sound. He said "I love you" through the tubes protrudung from his lungs...we have no idea from which power the vibrations came. He squeezed my hand and arm so hard and with such strength, I have no idea from where such power came. It came from within. it came from beyond.

Rod gave me a gift yesterday. His daughter, brandy did too. They let me hang out and wipe his face. Hold his hand. Speak to him. He would mouth silently and nod. Or squint when in pain. It was anaplastic thyroid cancer and it moved very, very fast. The tumor became quite a burden. A lot of pain.

He would shrug and wiggle. Silent groans. And a lot of merciful sleep. He was very thirsty. I call it "the big thirst". It seems to happen on the last 2 days of life when one has a terminal illness. The big thirst comes just before the big sleep. That comes right before the last breath. He was in the ICU. Machines going. Fan going. Pumps and beeps and all kinds of ambient noise. There is so much ambient noise with medical stuff...

I told Rod I would NEVER forget him. I told him will think about him every day. He squeezed my hand harder. I told Rod I would take care of his family. He squeezed me even harder and would not let go. I told rod yesterday, that if he chose to get on the boat and leave, to visit me in the night. He held on tight. He looked at me with open eyes...he started to mouth but sound came out "Thank you. I love you. I will find Hank..." I kissed his cool, hairy belly. He held on tight.

He will not have to search very hard, because my dad will find HIM. My dad said he would never forget my staying with him when his transition was upon him. He would never forget the things I did for him. Even after he passed, he said he would never forget.

I asked my dad to find Rod. I aksed god to give him peace. I prayed for the 7th sense...that final blessing of strength and shedding of fear so one is truly ready to go. Rod had that in him yesterday. I felt it in his grasp and and saw it in his eyes. I heard it in that strange,raspy sound that came out of his throat that was a tangle of tubes and blood.

So our Burly Burl is taking his last. His dear daughter Brandy just called. His daughter Brandy and Jami are with him now. His skin cold. His lips blue...slowing down. Machines off. Quiet. Peaceful. His daughter just confirmed. He took his last gentle breath. He has been released.

My mother and deirdre prayed a vigil for him last night. They parayed for peace. I thank them for that. All my brothers and sisters knew rod. they all loved him. They all prayed. For peace.
All my friends prayed last night. My whole world of loved ones. They all prayed. For peace.

What a beautiful thing when you see a man feel that energy. When you see him tell you he is ready. Not scared. And then it hapens. Peace exuding from him. Peace filling the room. The body at rest. The soul released.

Thank you all for your prayers. Rod and his girls have peace. He was spilling over yesterday with that 7th sense. And today he has been released. From a body that so broke down in the end...was such a prison of pain. He now has peace.

So catch the big cahuna my burly burl. My big guy. My dear dear friend. Thank you for letting me be a part of your life. Stretch your wings...swoop down low over the lake for me. And fly like a with my dad. Little birds, little birds.

But don't leave just yet. Not all the way. Your girls Brandy and jami, and your stepson, Dale...need you. Your grandkids love you. They are still scared. Keep your arms around them just until they have a bit more time to adjust not having your big-guyness around them. Whisper in their ears even if they think it is just a tingle of memory or the slight rustle of a past experience. Squeeze their hands hard and help guide them to the knowledge and wisdom that you are not "gone"...just not all the way "here". And visit them in their dreams as my father does. With that big bearded grin and wild white hair...or perhaps a bit younger...a bit leaner. Whatever form you take...visit us all in our dreams.

I love you rod. Thanks for making our communty and my life better and more blessed just for being a part of it all. Your heart is as big as your belly was, your mind as sharp as the razors you shunned to don that big ole beard. And your soul will make as much clamour and soar as fast and far as the best engine at the daytona 500.

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