I had a dream about you the other night. I was flying to Halifax, see, and there was this terribly annoying woman sitting next to me on the plane so I decided to take a nap. And I dreamt of you. It was one of those flashback, snapshot-type dreams with no clear plot, but you were there and you were laughing.
It’s been one week now since you died, and with you that warm-hearted laugh. And I find myself wondering how you managed to keep it together at the end. By all accounts you were cheerful and upbeat right until the last breath. Even though you knew you would never see your grandchild grow up, even though you knew that the days of kissing your wife were numbered, even though you knew this was your last July, you retained a sense of humour about the whole thing.
I can’t imagine how.
In the week since your passing, people have poured out thoughts and condolences. EZ called you a perfect gentleman, RL said you were one of the great intellects. Various relatives have said you were very brave, and I wholeheartedly agree. Why does this stuff happen to the good guys, IL said angrily. Why indeed.
To me, you were the comic relief. The chuckle at the end of the table when someone said something ridiculous. You were the person I looked to for book recommendations, the person I looked to for opinions that challenged my own, and the person I most wanted to get to know better. But there are so many of us, and we all think we have forever to start, and now I’m at a loss because I feel like I didn’t put in enough time. Didn’t try hard enough to engage.
But regrets are a waste of time, and I’m sure you would agree. Instead, I will celebrate your life by promising to be more positive during the difficult times, to be brave when things seem to be fraying away, and to enjoy every second I get to spend with those I hold dear.
I miss you, Uncle Ron. You were the best of men. And the world is worse without you in it.