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.
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.