Sunday, February 26, 2012

Goodbye Uncle Billy

Saying goodbye to a family member is one of the hardest things any of us has to do.

This past week we lost and buried my Uncle Billy. I cannot even express in words how much this has affected me.

I have spent so many years focused in my little world. My world of me, my husband, my kids and Rett Syndrome.

In the last few years I had to walk away...or more accept that they walked away..my fathers side of the family that I kind of forgot that I had another family.

My mothers family. My Grandmother, my Aunt's. My Uncle and my cousins. The people I grew up with. Unfortunately I have no relationship with my mother and because of that I kind of let everyone else slip away too.

I came around for illnesses, surgeries, weddings and such but my monthly and reunion visits have stopped all together. Some because of my own selfishness and inabilty to forgive. Some for my own self preservation and sanity. A lot of it has to do with Abby. When I am nervous or stressed she is nervous and stressed. She is highly allergic to dogs and everyone seems to have at least one.

My Uncle Billy was 54 years old. I hate saying was. Makes my heart hurt. He was 12 when I was born. He had lived for the last 15 years with Hodgekins disease. The same form of cancer that took my Daddy 10 years ago. Dad lasted about 18 months after his diagnosis. Billy fought long and hard for 15 years.

I never understood how he did it. His quality of life...he was so strong. Chemo had taken most of his heart, liver and kidneys years ago. He has had caregivers for so long. His daughter has taken care of him for many many years. Thank you Heather for being such a good daughter.

Billy was 39 when he was diagnosed. I never once heard him complain. He always kept his onry sense of humor. He tried to hold on to his indeperndence long after he was really capable of it.

He was a good man. A good husband, a great father, son, brother and Uncle and Grandfather.

Seeing him lying there in that coffin. He looked better than he had in a decade. We all stood around forever after the graveside service several miles outside of a very small town. No one saying it. None of us wanted to walk away and leave him there. It didn't seem right. Putting my uncle in the ground and walking away. It had been a beautiful day up until then. The temperature dropped 20 degrees and the wind howled. We just left him there.

I haven't been to a burial funeral of a friend or close relative since I lost my God son in 97. My Grandmother was unable to bring herself to go. To bury her youngest of 6. Her only son. I'm glad she made that choice.

I have to make more time for the people I love.

I love you Uncle Billy. Tell Harry and Daddy I say hello....

1 comment:

Ann Marie said...

So sorry for your loss. Hugs from Kentucky!