dying forces you to live

Life is taken for granted for most, a few have experienced life threatening accidents, and some live with a diagnosis of mere weeks, months or at best a few years left to live. I experienced an accident, which changed my life forever. My favorite uncle has been given a terminal prognosis for his cancer.

My love for my uncle and my aunt (she passed away last March) goes back to my childhood. We are only 7 years apart in age and I adored him then, as I do now (but don’t tell him that ok?). He has always been a part of my life and always a re-assuring presence in my otherwise fractured upbringing. My parents went to battle quite often.. my dad being a drinker and a womanizer, my mom left him for good when I was twelve.

With six kids in tow (a seventh would come later)..  we all lived in the same house together at various times in our lives. My uncle is my moms younger brother and nanas house was our refuge during these turbulent years, she being another constant in my life. My nana died when I was only 19. Why do people we love so much have to die?

I am older now and after spending just three short days, my uncle has left my winter survival home in Yuma. He reminded me of my family and fish rule for visiting relatives and friends, three days and both start to smell. I don’t remember saying that, but not remembering stuff is part of the aging thing. Now where was I?  hmmmmm….

His leaving created such a sadness and hurt inside of me.. the tears would not quit all day. What was happening to me, and how to stop it? I had to put ice cubes on my eyes for the puffiness before going to cards that night. When I don’t understand things I turn to writing and here I am.

My uncle is my last link to my mom, his acceptance of me.. for myself, has always been my saving grace. The people in my life tend to want to change me. Being married for forty years to someone that was constantly critical of everything I said or did or even how I laughed “you cackle, just like your sister!” was not easy..

My kids roll their eyes at me and critique my shortcomings. True.. I am not one to keep my mouth shut, but I am working on it, and I do LOVE my kids, they are perfect like me. We also have relatives and some friends that choose to judge us and that is alright.. just ‘do no harm’ ok?

My uncles time spent here was fun, even though he tried his best to infect me with his head cold. He fished out my old Kuerig coffee pot in the shed and fixed it so he could have a decent cup of coffee. He also fixed a picture frame for me.. so ok, it was fun for me, him maybe not so much.. lol.

I had naps, he had a sleep.. 16 hours, but who is counting. He is a crazy driver but my daughter thinks that of me as well. He’s stubborn as a mule and I sometimes wonder where he gets that from? He is smart like a fox but stupider than a pancake (a new saying between me and my gf) when it comes to phone technology.

So.. there it is, the answer I was seeking. I feel life when I am with him, I also feel safe.. and he is my last connection to my mom. We have a bond and I am going to miss him soooo much! I admire him and he has my utmost respect as a caring and loving husband, father and a compassionate man. He is the most honest and fair human being I know.

Why does it seem like the good ones have to die and we are left with the dregs? Maybe I am a dreg.. but more important if I am, then I need to change. Dear lord when the time comes please look after my Uncle, he is at peace with going to join his wife. “She is afraid of the dark and confined spaces and will be so happy when I finally show up.”

Being a believer in an after-life, I have also given him messages for a chosen few. When my time comes, and it is getting closer, I hope my life will have counted for something, as his does. You have set the bar and you have made me laugh and made me cry and I want to be more like you..

I love you



 I wrote about my aunt and uncle in a previous blog a couple years ago www.my-thirdlife.com/dementia .. a true love story

My uncle passed away last October .. getting a reprieve of sorts from his 6 month diagnosis. I miss him so.. I didn’t know it would hurt this much.