Fast forward to last year...the last Memorial Day we celebrated together. This one was so different from the early days of our relationship. Scott woke up early in his hospital bed in our family room turned hospital room, about 5:30am. I heard him stir and I got up from the couch that I slept on every night to be close by him and climbed into bed with him. At this point he couldn't communicate verbally much at all but he was looking off to the right of his bed into the air like he was seeing something there. He said something like "wow." I had read about the hallucinations that brain cancer patients see nearing the end of their lives and so I asked him if he was seeing something there and he said yes. He then said what I thought was "purple rain." I said "purple rain?" and he replied "yes." Now Prince had died only about one month prior so I thought this was strange and maybe I had misunderstood him so I attemped to confirm his words. I first asked him "did you say parade? we are going to the parade today." He said "no." I then asked, "Papa Ron? Did you say Papa Ron? He's still sleeping." He said "no." So I attemped again and said "purple rain? Are you seeing purple rain?" He replied with a relieved, "yes." I asked, "as in Prince...purple rain?" He said "yes." It was the first of several hallucinations during that next week and 1/2 before he passed away. The most moving experience was when he saw his grandfather, Richard Newhall, standing beside his bed. This occured 7 days before he died. It was a bit scary for him but I reassured him and told him how comforted I was to know that his grandfather was there waiting for him on the other side. It made me feel as though Scott might be there to greet me on the other side some day. So on this rainy memorial day, I am comforted by the thoughts of purple rain and the feeling of comfort that knowing there is a place for our souls to go when we die where we will meet up with the ones we loved in this world.
Lastly and most importantly, on every Memorial Day, I take time to pause and think about all the people in our country who fight for our freedoms and especially those who have died for our freedoms. I think about all the police officers and first responders who help to keep us safe every day and come to our rescue when we so desperately need it. Thank you to all of you who serve or have served the citizens of the Unites States, New Jersey, and my small town of New Providece. Wishing you all a peaceful Memorial Day celebration.