2011 has been a tough and challenging year for me.
In February I lost my uncle. My mother's brother.
In June I lost my great uncle - who was a father figure for my father as my grandfather passed away when my dad was only 5.
This August I lost my grandfather's wife. My grandfather married approximately 10 years ago as my grandmother passed away when I was 14.
Everyone said "bad things happen in threes" or things of the like to show that I have done enough greieving for a year. Except I don't believe Death is "bad". It is part of life - the good, the ups and the downs. Right now I feel a bit "down".
My uncle was pretty young to pass away, but he had a terribly hard life. Mostly his own fault with his own decisions, but sometimes the "cards didn't fall the right way" for him. He taught me my love of music, how to "handle" my mom, and truly the value of an education. He told me, when I was about 16 that the difference between his life and my parents lives was purely education. They had the same upbringing and same opportunities, but my mother had the perservence to stick with education. He told me to never take the easy road as he always tried to and it always set him farther back than where he first started. I suppose, looking back, he knew his mistakes and he wanted nothing more than for myself to never make those. He told me those things when I was 16 and his youngest child turns 16 this year. I only hope that I can help him understand what his father once told me.
My great uncle showed me what family was all about. He and his wife had 4 children - 3 boys and a 1 girl. One of the men is in seminary on his way to being a priest. I've always thought he was going to be a priest, but his discerment took about 10 years to truly know his calling. The other three are married to the most amazing partners. While my "Uncle Johnny" was Baptist, his wife and 4 children are all Catholic. They grew up in both churches and did community service projects for both churches. When you asked him what helped to make his 60+ years as a married man so wonderful he always said "it didn't hurt to have 2 congregations praying for you and your family and your marriage".
My grandfather's wife, Marinela passed away just recently. She truly was wonderful, made Abuelo laugh and truly made him perk up in life again. She was there when he battled cancer and when he went in remission. She was there to celebrate love and life with him. While I was uncertain about his idea to marry 10 years ago, she truly made my grandfather's life so much more fun.
I wanted to write down a few things about them as I know I am still in the grieving process. They existed. They mattered to me. They taught me love, life and so much more. I just hope to get back to the "real" me again. I go back and forth and up and down as they meant a lot to me.
It is in the everyday moments when I miss them the most. When something breaks and I think "my uncle could would know what to do, let me call him." Or when I drive by my great uncle's exit and think "I should pop on over and say hello to Uncle Johnny" or when I talk to my grandfather and I can hear the little bit of sadness in his voice.
It isn't easy. It isn't hard. It is part of life. It is part of knowing and loving people. It is part of family.
1 day ago