Monday, January 03, 2011

A Sad Day

So you know it's a bad sign when you wake up and see text messages and voice mails and missed calls from family members. As soon as I saw that Dave texted at 2am and then Scott called at 7am and my mom called... I knew what had happened. My Uncle Bill, my mom's little brother, had passed away.

My Uncle Bill lived in Tuscon, Arizona and was married to my Aunt Marcia. He always lived away from us, but growing up, he was my most favorite uncle. He was awesome. His sense of humor was incredible and he was always so nice to us kids. His visits were always looked forward to, and full of laughter. All of my memories of him are positive and happy.

He was a K9 officer and loved animals. He had birds, cats, dogs, and even a tortoise at one time!! He and my Aunt Marcia had a little girl, Sarah, but she passed away at birth. He was always happy and smiling, and had a dry, sarcastic wit.

When my ex-husband and I were going through the time just before divorcing, we had taken a trip to Arizona to visit Dave. While we were there, my Uncle Bill and Aunt Marcia came to Dave and Heather's for a visit. I remember him asking me if I was okay, and that I seemed sad. He was the first person, other than my own immediate family, that I told about our problems and that I was afraid that my marriage was over. He told me that there are only so many things that one person can control, and as hard as it was, I needed to realize that whatever decisions my ex-husband made, there was nothing I did to cause it or could do to stop it.

My Uncle Bill was always really proud of me. When I got my first 4.0 in college, I sent him and my Aunt Marcia a copy of my grade report. They put it on their fridge.

I am so sad that he's gone, but I am happy that he's not suffering anymore and is in a place with his baby girl Sarah, my Grandma Burney, and Aunt Karen. He had been suffering for the last year, and while in pain the whole time, he tried to stay strong. I sent cards, but never called. I don't regret it... I didn't want him to feel like all of a sudden people who never called him suddenly cared about him. So instead, I sent cards. I figured it wasn't too out of the ordinary since I sent cards and letters before he was sick.

I worry about my mom. She always had a "weird" relationship with my Uncle and while I can't relate to their upbringing, I do have brothers and can't even imagine if one of them had passed away this morning. Siblings are special and while we don't pick them, they are put into our lives for a reason. I pray that my mom and Aunt Margie both find peace and are able to remember the great memories of their brother.

Here are some pictures of my wonderful Uncle Bill:
Uncle Bill as a little boy

As a teen

With my Grandma Burney

With my Aunt Marcia

After serving in Vietnam with his dog

With Dave's son Eamon

I just got off the phone with both of my brothers. They are such great guys and I am so lucky to have such a great relatioship with them both. Scott called to see how I was doing, and we talked for a bit, and while I was on the phone with him, Dave had called. I just talked to Dave and he and his family are on their way to Tuscon to be there with my Aunt Marcia. I'm glad to know that she'll at least have Dave there with her. Dave said that they have a lot of friends there, so that makes me feel a little better as well.

Until tomorrow...


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