I'm crushed.

I hate crying.

Ralph loved cookies. All kinds. Chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, sugar cookies... he was a veritable Cookie Monster. During his prolonged stay in the hospital, whenever I came to visit, he'd ask me to bring him cookies. Indeed, given my condition, my Christmas gift for him was a tin of cookies.

Rewind to a week ago.

He took a decided turn for the worse, and was placed on a CPAP machine. His sister and his wife were with him. Ralph was drifting into and out of consciousness, but in a moment of coherant thought, started weakly struggling to take off his mask. His nurse told him she could only remove it for a few seconds, so what he had to say had to be brief, and important, to which he nodded his head.

She pulled the mask off of his face, his sister asked him what he wanted to say, and he replied "I want a bite of my cookie."

The nurse told him that she couldn't allow that, and he pouted, visably. Lower lip protruding and all. He sat silent for a brief moment, and then said to his sister "Please eat the last bite of my cookie for me, then?"

Ralph slipped back into unconsciousness, and a couple of days later, his kidneys failed and he slipped away for good.

Sometimes last words can be so random.

Anyway, today at the memorial service, ushers passed out small bits of cookie to the entire crowd while his sister related this story to us, and invited us to help her eat the last bite of his cookie.

Ralph, here's to you.