Boy, life and I are just not getting a long here recently. I’ve managed to take on too many projects and stress myself out; then yesterday my Uncle John finally lost his battle with complications of cancer.
It wasn’t a surprise, he’d been in and out of the hospital for several months but it did hit me hard. He was just commenting on photos of the Twins a few weeks ago, as Facebook had become his main source of entertainment and contact from his hospital bed. Everyone knew he was sick, but if you didn’t know him personally you’d never be able to tell from his jovial spirit.
Out of all my dad’s siblings John was the one I connected with the most. After my grandma passed away we didn’t get out to California nearly as much as we did while I was growing up, but the last time we did walking into his home was like we’d never left. I wish we could have made it back out there one more time to visit, but life kept getting in the way.
I’m sad that Hubs and the kids will never have a chance to meet him, and I’m also sad thinking back to the last time I was able to visit with him. Having the same almost otherworldly insight that I do he sat me down at breakfast, and offered me words of stern advice. He wasn’t one to sugar coat anything being a career military man, yet somehow even as curt as his life lessons were you always knew it was from a place of love. I wish I could remember what he said, but being a stubborn young person I dismissed it. I remember bits and pieces but out of the context I’ve forgotten it doesn’t make sense to share.
I also remember one other time during another family reunion. Dad was from a large family, the second youngest of 8. Myself and my sisters are the youngest cousins by a few years, and there is a lot of us. All of us kids were taking turns drawing on the front side walk. I worked particularly hard on a drawing and set out to find my dad to show him. It took a while to find him in the jumble of relatives, and then he was busy helping one brother with something so he couldn’t come out right away.
By the time I made my way back out to the front yard waiting for my dad to come and see my drawing, it had been colored over and smudged by the other kids. I was crushed. My drawing which I was so proud of was ruined, and I was upset. I tried to get the attention of my other older cousins but no one was really paying attention. They apologized like older kids do to younger kids when they don’t really understand why there is a reason to be upset and then brushed me off, which made me that much more upset.
So after arguing and trying to explain myself to anyone who would listen and repeatedly getting dismissed I began to cry, pushed my way through the crowd of people and hid in a tent which John had put up for us kids to play in. I was in there for a few moments before he poked his head in to see what was going on. Out of everyone else, he was the only one to take notice of the little kid and her trivial problem.
Not only that, but he went out of his way to fix my drawing, and find a camera so I could take a picture and keep it forever, where it would never be ruined. I do still have the picture somewhere, but in the midst of our moving its been packed away.
John was the one who inspired me to always stick up for the little guy, even if no one else was paying attention.
Ugh… There are so many other things and stories and life I could share. If I wasn’t busy trying to write through tears. It’s weird when you lose someone who did hold a special place in your life, but that you weren’t especially close to in recent years. It’s not only a loss of him as a person but many wasted opportunities to reconnect and it just sucks.
I probably won’t even make it out to the funeral just because of everything else going on right now. Which stings for an entirely different reason. For some one so important, I feel almost disrespectful to attend the funeral now after neglecting to make time for him aside from Facebook posts. I don’t even know.
There’s too much going on right now. My brain is on overload. I have a migraine and babies are waking up fussing. The feels will have to wait until the migraine passes for any of them to make sense.