This post is more than three months past due, but I have been struggling with putting it into words. It's as though posting it finally makes it true, hence the delay.
Tina Marie Velez passed away on Friday, November 19, 2010 after battling Stage IV breast cancer for more than two years. She was in the arms of her husband Paul with her mother and sister by her side.
Earlier that morning, before Ashley went to school, she gave her mother a kiss on the forehead and said to Tina, "I love you, Mommy." At this point Tina wasn't able to speak and could barely squeeze our hands anymore to communicate. I read a few short stories to her from a Chicken Soup for the Soul book. I didn't know how much she could hear or understand me. I am so grateful that Mom suggested that we watch Bill Cosby Himself. Tina and I could quote that movie line by line, and did at every relevant moment to our friends' and family's annoyance. I squeezed her hands during the funniest parts and said the best jokes loudly as I looked into her eyes. I know she knew I was there. Shortly after the movie ended, Paul was by her side talking to her. My mom came home from an errand just a few minutes after that. With all of us at her bedside, Tina wrapped up in Paul's arms, she passed away at about noon.
The viewing was held at Clayton McGirr Funeral Home in Freehold, NJ on Monday, November 22 with the funeral service held the next day at St. Rose of Lima. She was cremated and as of March 2011, will be in the Maplewood Mausoleum.
The funeral home arranged a memorial site for people to visit and read/post stories and pictures of Tina. Tina's Memorial Site