Back in 2002, May 8th fell on a Wednesday. To some, that fact may seem like a random bit of meaningless trivia. For me, there was nothing trivial about that day at all.
On that day, I lost a dear uncle. A man who was a great role model, and who was really more of a father figure to me. His death came after a near two and a half month stent in the hospital, which started as a trip to the ER because of breathing problems. Things quickly spiraled downward from there.
Those were among the toughest months of my life at that time. It was long before I was diagnosed with Diabetes and Congestive Heart Failure. At the time my uncle entered the hospital, I was a senior in high school with just a few months remaining until graduation. It was a busy time, as I was working on my senior culminating project and a mountain of other things. I’m not sure how I managed to get all of that work done, with spending every afternoon at the hospital, but I did.
My success in school was always important to my uncle, and remained so until the end. The presentation of my senior project fell on May 8th, too. I passed with distinguishing marks across the board. I called my family members at the hospital to relay the good news. My uncle died about an hour later.
After 8 years, I still have a really hard time with this day. And it feels like it’s harder on me now, when I think of just how close I’ve been to being with him again in the last year or so. Those feelings are compounded by the fact that his funeral was on Mother’s Day, which was the 13th back then, but this year it’s the 9th. That’s tomorrow.
As tough as it’s been without my uncle around, I like to think that he might be the reason I’m still alive. We’ve all heard about guardian angels, who watch over us and help guide us in the right direction. Maybe he’s mine. Maybe he helped push me to the doctor in the nick of time. Knowing that he was always in my corner helps.
Either way, I’ll always be grateful.
I lost my grandmother last year, the Monday after Mother’s Day. It’s hard to get to this time of year and not remember them, isn’t it?
This is a beautiful post and a beautiful remembrance of your uncle. I definitely think he’s your guardian angel and if it wasn’t for him pushing you to the doc in time, I may never have had the chance to get to know you. just think of how boring life would be without all of the birdies!