My uncle died this morning. I got a call from my cousin about an hour afterward.
I feel very sad and don’t really feel like doing any of the things I should be doing. I know everyone has felt that way.
Uncle Red was always full of fun. That is the one thing I remember about him from the time I was a little girl. He was always smiling, joking, playing jokes and trying to make everyone smile. I know for sure he made me smile.
Of course, his name wasn’t really Red. But that never mattered. I know that when we go to the funeral, the priest in his church will call him by his given name and I’ll have to think to remember that the two are the same. He’ll always be Uncle Red to me.
Of all my aunts, uncles and cousins — and there were many since my dad came from a family with 9 children — this was the family we were closest to. My cousin is only 12 days younger than me. His sister is about a year older than my sister. We vacationed together – both when my dad was alive and when my mother remarried.
Uncle Red’s wife was actually my grandmother’s sister – my mother’s aunt. But the age range in the family was large. My grandmother was the oldest and this sister was the youngest, closer to my mother in age. My mother loved her like a sister, not an aunt. I think that is why the families were so close.
Uncle Red was the last of the parents to pass. His wife was first. Then my mom and stepdad. It feels like the closing of a book, not just a chapter in a book.
I have a class to go to tonight. I have to prepare dinner. But all I seem to do is sit here with my thoughts drifting to my youth.
Rest in peace, Uncle Red. You were loved. And you did make us happy.