Friday, August 2, 2013

Tribute To A Great Man

tio - teen2I am not a superstitious person, but I must admit that this year – 2013 – has been one heck of a year for me so far.

As you all know, my mother was very ill in May and she remains in the hospital to this day. Thankfully, she is improving and I do believe she will be back home by the end of August, which is good news.

However, hardship loves company and last week my uncle, who I loved with all my heart, passed away unexpectedly. I had to break the news to my mother and that was difficult enough. I had to tell her that her last sibling had left us and comfort her in her sorrow, trying to convince her that he had a “good death” because he died in his sleep. A “good death!” What a damn oxymoron!

I loved my uncle ever since I can remember. He was the most righteous, civil, honest, hardworking and decent person I’ve ever known. He was a genuine man, what you saw was exactly what you got. The word hypocrisy was not part of his dictionary; but if he didn’t like you he made sure you knew but of course, since he had manners he did it very politely, he was a gentleman until his very last breath.

He loved to dance and was very good at it, his best dancing partner was my mother with whom he had danced since they were little kids. He enjoyed singing, with his baritone voice, old Galician songs and was the life of any party. There was nothing he enjoyed more than playing dominoes while teasing my aunt – she always ended up throwing a fit while he was cracking up at his ability to make her lose her ever so volatile temper. I never heard him cuss, not even when he was upset, which was rare… For me, my uncle was an example to follow and I was so lucky to have had him in my life!

He loved my son and was the grandfather my son never had. He was the father I didn’t have and was there for me whenever I needed him, unconditionally.

It’s hard to accept that he is no longer with us, that I didn’t have a chance to tell him for the zillionth time that I loved him with all my heart and how much he meant to me.

But he left us, and the time came when we all had to say our final goodbyes. At the funeral I placed a soft kiss on his cold cheek and whispered in his ear that we will meet again. I need to believe it, it’s hard to lose those that you love and that thought is always comforting, at least for me.

I adored him; I miss him so very much! I always told him I loved him but I don’t think he really knew just how much I did.

Until we meet again tio.

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