A new year, another goodbye. I found out this morning that my Uncle Terry died of cancer yesterday. He was a good guy, part of the smokers hanging outside grandma’s house on the holidays, making little wisecracks, always with a beer in his hand. Next month they would have been married thirty years. I don’t know much more than that – I found out via email, same as I did about my grandmother. He was good people.
When someone dies in my world now, I instantly imagine my dad, my grandparents, my dog, my friends who’ve passed, all sitting around shooting the breeze and then there’s that knock on the door. Today, Terry opened it and joined them. I see the sadness in my grandma’s eyes as she knows that her daughter is without a husband and that my cousin is now, like me, without a father. I hear my dad and him sharing smartass comments, and I see my girl Daisy coming up to him to lick his hand and lean up against him. They are there, together, in my mind, holding down the fort.
If it could only slow down. Christ, slow the fuck down. Every damn year it gets worse.
I remember not long after I moved back to Portland, my aunt and I, when we were still close, had breakfast on Christmas Eve, just the two of us. We were talking about relationships, and she said this to me about her husband – “You know Aimee, your Uncle Terry, he treasures me. Find someone who treasures you.”
That’s all there is to it.