Thursday, July 1, 2010

10 Years Later and It's Still Not Easy

I can remember July 1, 2000 like it was yesterday, or today. It was the summer before my junior year, and we were living in the town house in Ellicott City, MD. I was home alone and my mother was in Virginia. However, I can't recall where my sister or stepfather where at the time. I want to say this was during one of time's my sister was missing. I can remember vividly my mother running back and forth from MD to VA every other weekend, either for my uncle Kelly or my sister. That was a stressful time.

It was a Saturday. I was still on probation. Approximately 9 am in the morning my phone rang and it was my mom. She told me my uncle passed away during the early morning. I was shocked. I will not lie and say this was unexpected...but I was in denial. There was no way my uncle was dying, especially not from cancer.
  • Despite the fact that his over 300 pound frame had shrunk to less than 130, I was hopefully.
  • Despite the pain he felt when we hugged him, I was hopefully.
  • Despite the fact he was in a hospice, I was hopeful. 
But he did. My uncle died from colon cancer. I don't remember when he was diagnosed. I just remember a rapid progression. I figured he would be okay because the doctors were smart, but he wasn't.  I lost all hope that day. The funeral was on the 5th if I remember correctly. That day was a blur. I do remember everyone in the family telling me that I had to walk my grandmother in and be strong for her just in case she broke down. I remember thinking "I am barely 20...and I am hurting. How can I be strong for her?" but I was. So I sucked it up and I didn't cry at the funeral at all. But as I write these words, I can not stop the tears from flowing.  One of my cousins showed out at the funeral and I was pissed...they didn't love him like I did! She was never around him...not even half as much as me. I hated her.

 His son and daughter were there. They were crying. His son mentioned to me that he had no pictures of himself and his dad and that made him mad. Fortunately for them, I had a picture of my uncle, his daughter, his son, my father and me when we were all 5 or 6. I promised to mail him a copy. And I did. That's the ONLY picture he has of himself, his sister and his dad together. A picture more than 15 years old.

Years later, I am at my grandmother's house. My uncle had a room there, but no one slept in but me. I don't think my grandmother allowed it. But that night as we are getting ready for bed, my grandmother says to leave the lights on "so that Kelly can see when he gets home." My mother replies "Mom, you know Kelly is not coming home". My grandmother makes this strange face and then says "Oh yeah. sometimes I forget."

But I don't forget. I could never forget losing the first man I loved besides my own father. And every year on the anniversary of his death I cry. This morning as I was getting dressed, I came across the R.I.P. shirt my cousin had made. I started hyperventilating so bad I knew I'd pass out from lack of oxygen. My heart was racing and I couldn't see anything. I was having an anxiety attack and all I could think of was death. I was going to die, holding the shirt of my dead uncle. It was almost bittersweet. But I calmed down.

Originally I had plans to buy this overly expensive cute shirt to impress people who don't give a damn about my life. I changed my mind. Instead I will donate that $100 to Cancer.Org

R.I.P. to my uncle Kelly
The love I still feel for you is immeasurable.


  1. great post, stevie. rip uncle kelly.

  2. (Gives you a hug) One of life's biggest lessons that we all eventually have to learn @ impress people who don't give a damn about my life.