Wednesday, July 10, 2013


My uncle died. 
Maybe you didnt know I had an uncle. Sometimes it is hard for people to keep up with my family tree as it was a tree that sort of absorbed and grew into another tree and there's weird branches and ... It can be confusing.
My mom had a brother. Older. His name was Michael, just like my older brother. Not sure if that's where my mom got the idea for my brothers name or not. Anyway, my point is, I had an Uncle Mike. The reason he hasn't been mentioned her before is the estranged nature of our relationship.
Why were we estranged, you ask? Let me tell you.  He disappeared on us. No, not on his wife and kids. He disappeared on us ... His sisters kids. I can tell you the last time I saw him before recently.
My mothers funeral. 
Yep. I was 17, burying my mommy, an then poof ... My uncle, aunt, and two cousins sort of vanished from my life. 
Fast forward to three years after that, my daddy dies. My brother calls up his house, my aunt answers, basically brushes the news off and that's that.
Then, threeish years ago my Uncle happens to be serving on a jury with my co-worker, somehow my uncle knows I work for the sheriffs office. (Still to this day I have NO idea how because last he saw me I was in high school gainfully unemployed!) 
My co worker gives him my number (with my permission) and we talk. I meet my cousin for coffee (which felt weird and sad to me because we had been so close as kids) and then my uncle and his wife come to my quickie courthouse wedding.
It was nice/hard to see him. Seeing him, hearing his voice ... It all brought back memories from when my mom was alive. It also brought up the hurt that he had been absent from my life, ducking out at a time when we needed him most.
That was the only time I saw him. We would text on holidays, at first he would invite me to their family functions but .. I have my family, Dans family or I was working. Besides, it wasn't like I was just gonna hop right into a relationship with him as if he hadnt hurt me.
This isn't meant to be an Uncle bashing blog. No. It's just ... I regret not making more of an effort to see him again.  He was, after all, my mothers brother and my last real connection to her past.
My grandparents are gone and now her brother is too.
I used to say the generation above me in my bloodline doesn't exist anymore. That was before I had any contact with him. Now, those words ring true. 
My mothers family is gone, except for us kids. 
I had an Uncle. I remember him seeming REALLY tall when I was a lil kid. (He was 6'4) I remember he had a stoner's laugh. Thomas' English Muffins use to make me think of him because he used to drive for them.  He played football in high school. 
I am sorry, Uncle Mike. I am sorry we weren't closer. I am sorry I didn't get to say goodbye.  If you're up in heaven, please say hi to grandma and Gee. And ... Most of all, when you see my mom and dad, could you tell them I love them? 
I hope you are all together now. 
Rest in Peace, Michael Ward. My Uncle Mike. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry, that truly sucks on top of everything else. Perhaps his withdrawal from your life was the only way he felt he could cope with your mother's death? Not fair for you and your brother, but sometimes grief clouds our judgement. I'm glad for you (and him) that you were able to reconnect after so many years.