Off to Dayton, Ohio on Sunday. Wish I was going to visit and have fun. So many wonderful memories of holidays and visits with my grandmother, aunt, uncle and cousins.
The last time I was there was my grandmother's funeral.
This visit is for the funeral of my beloved uncle.
As children we would run into the house when we would arrive at the summer house, and fly into his arms or land on his lap....calling his name and we would all laugh.
I hated the day I got too old to fly into his arms.
Even more I hated the day I realized he was too fragile to hug hard.
When I was a little girl I wanted to grow up and marry Uncle Butch.
He was funny and knew interesting things. He taught us to play poker and drive motor boats and motorcycles. It always seemed he trusted us to do stuff....he would teach us how to do things and then let us do it...he never seemed nervous.
When I got older I would note how he and my aunt laughed every day....several times a day. I realized I wanted that in a relationship.
And their children are smart and funny and responsible and seemed to have really healthy self esteem. I wanted to be like them. I still do.
Uncle Butch was sick for a long time with a really rare disease.
His body would just stop working for no reason.
My Aunt was constant and attentive and worked hard to give him the happy quality of life he deserved. I am so grateful to her. She made it possible for him to be at the summer house last year and I got to spend time with him. He was at my brother's birthday - my brother was named after him.
I am driving to Ohio in my Kia Soul and I thought..."oh, won't it be fun to show it to Uncle Bob" then I remembered he saw it this summer, then I remembered he won't see it this trip.
My Mom is so sad. That is perhaps the hardest part - seeing her pain.
The other side of it is that loving him is worth the pain.
And he is no longer struggling to have a decent life. He is no longer fighting infections and being ambushed by his body's malfunctions.
Loving him is worth the pain. I am lucky to have had him in my life.