Just a few days ago I lost my Uncle Gene. I'm still in shock and disbelief. He was 79, relatively healthy, until one thing after another snowballed and well now he's gone.
I don't care how old you are or how old the person is, losing someone is an emotional hell.
So far I'm ok though. I feel sad and that utterly lost feeling I always get when a death has occurred, but I'm ok. Tomorrow I probably won't be anymore...funerals always do me in.
I keep thinking that if he could, Uncle Gene would smack me upside the head for being said or even thinking about becoming sad. That's not how he worked. He was goofy, ornery and someone that you wanted to hang out with.
Did you know that he's the reason I have a fear of heights? LOL true story. See he was 6'3 or thereabouts and one of his favorite past times was putting me, who clearly took after my dad's side of the family by being really short, on top of things for giggles. Like the refrigerator. Or the top of the kitchen cabinets some 10 feet in the air. Which to a child of 4 was like 300 feet. He'd put me there then tell me to jump, that he'd catch me. I knew he would, he always did. He'd stare up at me with this ornery grin, while I was terrified and thinking that if I was just a bit bigger, I'd kick his butt for tormenting me. Don't think I hid from him whenever he came to visit, oh no, I gravitated toward this tall, funny man, just like everyone else did. I enjoyed his ornery side, even if he did scare me sometimes.
That is my all time favorite memory of him. I have many more, but I won't share them. Needless to say, when I think back to when I was little, I think of that man in the picture. I think of all the jokes he told, all the stories he told, all the holidays of trying to sneak a picture of him sleeping on the couch before he caught me. There are so many memories of him...
Uncle Gene, I miss you already. I miss talking history with you. I miss your jokes and laughter. I will miss you calling the turkeys and not being able to tell the difference between you and them. No one can sound like a turkey, quite like you did. I will miss your burned green beans (the only way I ever cook them thanks to you). I will miss hearing you say asspagrass for asparagus. I miss fishing with you. I miss riding around your farm, driving over huge piles of giant mulch and through the blueberries in your Mule (or whatever it was; some sort of supped up golf cart is the only way I can explain it). I could list everything, but I just miss you. I will forever miss you. I love knowing that you and I were a lot alike, and I will always treasure that. You weren't just Mama's big brother, you were a big brother to us all. Please take care of Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Merle, Uncle Troy and the babies for me ok? Tell them all hi, that I miss them something fierce and they are always, always on my mind.
I love you,