I’ve been reminded today of how hard it is to lose someone you love. I lost my wonderful, funny, larger than life uncle.
I was out in my car and receieved a text from my brother in Australia – it said our uncle had died half an hour earlier.
There I was, sitting alone in my car, on a country road in the middle of nowhere, reading a simple, clear message that suddenly altered a part of my life forever .
I felt so far away from home. And I still do. I can’t be with my family and the people I love over there – and give my Mum and Dad and my brothers a hug and say how much I love them. I wasn’t able to tell my Uncle that either. I can’t cry and laugh about him with my cousins. I can’t go to his funeral and be there for my dad, his big brother.
It sucks being so far from home sometimes. You try to get on with your life, you accept the distance (even though it’s still hard), you enjoy where you are and try to make the most of each day and then wham, something like this happens.
Thank you Uncle Leigh for everything we shared: the loud LOUD music, your cooking, the laughs, your humour, letting me stay up late, fish and chips at the beach for our lunch breaks when I was your chauffeur; and of course Elvis – watching re-runs of nearly every live Elvis performance on video together, paying me to edit the commercials out for your recordings of Elvis tv midday movies, telling me the King was possibly still alive; you saying your tongue-in-cheek ‘bonjours’ to me over the phone from Australia, telling Dad to stop pissing with him when he didn’t understand my new married name really was ‘Dunno’ after I’d eloped; the widened eyes in mock horror at cheeky jokes, letting me house-sit for you and Marilyn all those times (my girlfriends and I thank you), showing me amazing jazz performances on the tele until all hours, re-enacting for me the first swimming scene from Jaws in our pool (you playing that woman) over and over again with me watching and squealing with excitement, when I was still ‘too young’ to watch the actual film; coming home late at night to see you lying on the couch at Mum and Dad’s watching a movie with them (you always got the best seat in the house); and not to ever forget, Uncle Leigh, your enthusiasm and positivity – your happiness at being alive. You were always so much fun to be around and we all, your many nieces and nephews (you were the youngest of 10), knew how much you loved us all – as we do you.
Thanks for everything Uncle Leigh. I am going to miss you so much.