In 1982, my cousin Wayne, was hit by a car while riding his bicycle. His injuries were serious. He was in a coma for two weeks and he lost the use of his legs. He was only 22 years old.
For almost 30 years, he lived in nursing homes. Some people might have become bitter or felt sorry for themselves. Wayne wasn't like that. He rolled around the nursing home in his wheel chair laughing and joking with the residents. He always spoke to everyone, even if they weren't able to respond.
We grew up together. Our houses were side by side. I don't have any siblings. Wayne was more like a brother to me than a cousin.
We spoke on the phone every night at least once and sometimes twice, until May 11. He was anemic and they couldn't find matching blood for him. His medications kept him asleep most of the time.
This past Saturday, he had to go into the hospital. He was responsive at first, but his health declined quickly.
I was with him all day Sunday. When I was leaving, my Mom told him to tell me good bye. We weren't sure if he could hear us, but he told me bye. That was the last word I heard him speak.
On Monday, he rallied for a short time and then his vitals went down quickly. They put him in critical care, but it was time for him to leave us and be with God. He left us at 10:30 last night.
We were so lucky to have him with us as long as we did, with his health problems. He turned 50 last September.
Wayne was a ray of sunshine in my life and I'm going to miss him so much.