I thought that just like 2014 went away with pitchers of vodka sodas, so would all my talk of weather and death, but unfortunately god has other plans. As I stepped back into the sun this Friday (thank you sunshine state), unfortunately, my uncle’s health took a turn for the worst.
Cancer has been a presence in my family over the past couple of years. We treated her nice, took her on trips, even beat her off once, but like any true stage 5 clinger, she stuck around. And though I do believe in being a fighter, I also know there comes a time to pray and hope for peace. So today we are at peace.
Uncle Don was a man who loved to be the life of the party, known for his frat star years even into his 60s. He was a forehead kisser of all, especially loved ones and beautiful women. He was silly and stubborn and had a brilliant way of making things happen. He gave me cousins who I love and laugh with like siblings. Most important to me, he was a role model to my dad. Who like any youngest sibling, got to learn from the older siblings what you can and cannot get away with in life, which makes him all the better Daddy to me.
On my most recent birthday, he sent me this note, after a short stop over in Houston.
Uncle Don, here is my response to you:
Thank you for being a true big brother and bullying my dad when you did, I think because of it you also taught him to love even when it is hard to love. I can celebrate others daily because your little brother taught me to love well, no matter what. You undeniably had a hand in that.
As far as lighting up a room goes, that is a true compliment coming from someone who did the same himself. Everyone who knew you, I am sure, agrees.
Even though my Uncle Don bank will never be reloaded in person again, the memories of you dancing at Katy’s wedding, your tight squeeze hugs and kisses, your house filling laugh, and your sincere emails will keep my Uncle Don bank full forever.
So today, we celebrate you. Love always.