In memory of a great man

Melissa Stagnaro

My uncle, Richard Lopresti, passed away this morning. Even before my conscious mind could make sense of the words, the world came crashing down and a gulf opened up in my heart the size of Texas.

Although comparing it to the size of Brooklyn would be more appropriate, since it was on 78th street in that fair New York borough where the Lopresti’s and the Farrell’s lived next door to one another. And, where my Uncle Rich and Aunt Maureen met and fell in love.

They married a few months after my own parents, their union serving to solidify the enduring bonds between the two families. They’re own bond never wavered. On the 5th of this month, they celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary.

This milestone was less an occasion for celebration than it should have been, overshadowed as it was by Uncle Rich’s third bout with cancer.

These last few months have been so hard, not only on him, but for my Aunt Maureen and their two children, my cousins Barbara and “Little” Richie.

Hospice was called in about a week and a half ago, so I knew it was only a matter of time. I guess you could say it was merciful that he went quickly, because he had suffered so. More than anyone as good and kind and wonderful should ever have to suffer. He truly was the most patient, kind-hearted soul I’ve ever had the fortune to meet.

Even the knowledge that he is no longer suffering, that he is finally at peace, can’t ease this awful ache in my chest. I guess I thought we’d have more time with him.

I was wrong, of course. Because this morning he was called home. With his passing, a wonderful light has left this world.

Aunt Maureen, Barbara, Richie and family – my heart and my thoughts are with you on this day, and the difficult days ahead.

Uncle Rich, you will be so greatly missed. Rest in peace.

May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
and give you peace.

Follow me on Twitter … @evesunmelissa.