There are moments in our life that impact us so deeply that we become “before” and “after” versions of ourselves. The person we were before will no longer exist and our universe is now forever shifted, never going back to the way things were. There was no physical bomb, no flood that swept me away, it was my husband taking my hands on a normal, quiet Sunday evening and saying, “I am so sorry, your uncle Robert died”.
There are not enough words to express what an amazing human being my uncle was. If anyone epitomizes the cowboy hero in the white hat, it is him. He loved his family and friends fiercely and would go out of his way to help someone who needed it. The words amazing, humble, loyal, funny, steadfast, honorable, unconditional love and acceptance all fit in my description of him, but they do not begin to do justice to one of the greatest individuals we were all so blessed to have in our lives. He was truly like a father to me, and I owe so much of my happiest childhood moments to him and my aunt. He was one of the pillars in the puzzle of my life that made everything okay. There was always a comfort knowing he was there and a small ping in the brain that he was someone you wouldn’t want to disappoint and wanted to make proud.
If I was lucky enough to have just 5 more minutes and the chance to say goodbye, I would ask him if he knew just how important he was to so many people and how much he was loved. I want him to know so many of us are better because of him and the love he gave us and that because of him, our lives were more amazing and blessed.
“Every person passing through this life will
unknowingly leave something and take something away. Most of this “something”
cannot be seen or heard or numbered or scientifically detected or counted. It’s
what we leave in the minds of other people and what they leave in ours. Memory.
The census doesn’t count it. Nothing counts without it.”
― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten