It’s been a rough few weeks for my family. Not the family that lives in my house, but the family I grew up with. A few weeks ago we learned that my uncle was diagnosed with Cancer. Then, ten days later he passed. I cannot say it was a shock, but the news still felt shocking. He passed in the morning, I found out that evening. It was surprising how hard it hit me so, I posted this on Facebook, “Even though we’ve all felt loss my heart still finds it surprising in the weight of the sadness.” Which is exactly how I felt and still feel, today.
It’s been five days now, I have had a little time to think about everything that has happened over the years. You see my uncle was a bit estranged from most of the family. There were many things that happened, lots of hurt feelings, and even more years lost out on. It’s the kind of thing that happens in every family, we are no different from the rest. But I never gave up on him. Still sending Christmas cards, wedding invitation, our birth announcement…as long as I could get a current address he was on the list. I have no idea if he got any of my correspondence, but I hope he did. No matter what happens in a persons life, they deserve to know that they are loved. And I loved my uncle.
He was an awesome uncle to have, too. ‘Cool as a Cucumber’ should have been his mantra, because that is what he always was when I was a kid. The whole room could be in chaos and he would just sit there watching everyone. Usually with a little smile. Then the room would clear out, taking the chaos to another part of the house and he would say something witty, something charming, and definitely something funny. That was who he was: super cool, funny, and charming. An over all really fun uncle, we were lucky.
What sticks out in my mind the most are his mannerisms. He would always say ok, lets do (whatever it was that day) jump up, clap his hands together with a tiny pause for a wiggle and we were off! My sister reminded me of how he used to let his boys shift the gears in his truck, which made me remember he asked me if I wanted to try it, too. I was thrilled and scared all at once. While he was always calm, no matter what gear you skipped to. But if you did make it to the correct gear you felt pretty darn special, not just because you did it right, but because you were able to do it, just like he knew you would. He was special and I hope that he knew it.
He leaves behind two sons, his boys. They remind me of him and I hope they both know how much the family loves them, how much I love them. We don’t see each other very often and we mostly ‘talk’ via messaging in various forms. While I hope that continues, I also hope we see each other sooner than later. I am sad to say that I am unable make the memorial. San Diego to Mobile has proven to be harder than I’d anticipated. So, I write this post for myself, for his boys, for my family and for my Uncle Eddie. May he rest in peace, always.