My uncle George died yesterday. Fucking cancer. He’s been sick for a while and we knew it was terminal, but I guess I didn’t realize that it would be terminal so soon, because I was shocked when my sister called to tell me. I can’t even imagine what my aunt and my cousin are going through, but I’m glad that we have a big family – I know they will have lots of support.
Other than me, all of both sides of my family live out east (either in Ontario or Quebec) and times like these I feel really disconnected. As I was telling my sister earlier, being so far away is hard. I don’t get to see family members when they are sick. And since I don’t see them often at all, it’s hard to really get that they are gone. I mean, it’s been more than a year and a half since my granny died and I still feel like she’s going to be there when I go to Ontario.
When I think about my uncle George, I think of cribbage. When I was little, we’d go to visit my aunt Eileen, uncle George and my cousin Melissa and my uncle George and my dad would play cribbage. Which I found endlessly fascinating. I absolutely loved the way you counted out the points, “Fifteen – two, fifteen -four, fifteen – six , and a pair is eight.” I had no idea what they were talking about – it sounded like they were talking in another language, but all the words were English! When I got older, they taught me how to play and it was great fun – there was even a thing where if you beat someone bad enough, you got to say you “skunked” them! I really enjoyed playing cribbage with my dad and my uncle George as a kid – it totally made me feel like I was a grown up!
My uncle George also had a really great sense of humour. And he was just a genuinely nice person. I wish he’d lived longer than his fifty-something years.