Memorial to Castaway Ray - gone but not forgotten

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We all knew him as Castaway Ray, the man who wrote elegantly about life, obesity and many other things on a couple of WLS groups.  He was a heavyweight with a lot of health problems including diabetes and kidney failure which would be cured, he felt, by having weight loss surgery.  Many doctors did not want to operate on him because of the risks but he finally did find someone to do the surgery on him.  Unfortunately, he died within three weeks of his surgery from complications.

This is his letter to his grandma just before his surgery:

Dear Nana
In giving birth to mom you also gave birth to me, already within her almost
70 years to the day.  February 6, 1962 brought a tiny little creature into the
world. Nearly dead at birth, something sparked deep within the sickly little
guy and progress was made.  Heroic overfeeding quickly made the tiny tot a
tubby terror, and the battle to make me thin again began.  Everything was tried,
from structured feeding to starvation, weight watchers, and really, nothing
   Dozens of years go by and fat is now the sickness, and the big man is now
nearly dead again, in desparate need of heroic measures that no one in the
world would provide. I live in a world spent feeling my strength being stripped
away, tethered to life by torturous dialysis machines; the only escape from
which is a loss of hundreds and hundreds of pounds. There is horror in that
tethering however, life shrinks to an infinitessimal dot, much like the TV sets of
old, where a murky horizon collapses into a tiny dot, slowly fading into non
existence. It is a world without hope, without joy, without a sense of future.
It is  a barren existence at best, and as it pulls on your strength and breath
and endurance, everyone around you pulls away with it.
   Everyone that is, except you and mom. My champions, you always let me know
that I was special, now ...  if only I could remove the Wall Of Fat around
me. That time has finally come, and I cannot find the words to thank you for
loving me enough to lift this terrible curse from me and let me finally LIVE. Two
hundred pounds from now, Ill be able to get a kidney, and three hundred
pounds from now Ill be like James Cagney in White Heat ... TOP OF THE WORLD MA, TOP
  To know that rapture, to finally feel the pure and simple joy of JUST BEING
WHOLLY ALIVE, and to know that its now all GOING TO HAPPEN ... as of Mar 16
2006 I am born again, the world is opened up again, that tiny white dot is more
than the world, its the milky way ... and all of it is thanks to you

I know that Ray does now feel that rapture he talked so eloquently about!