Memories

I’ll Miss You Uncle Dale

I never imagined I’d be faced with death again so soon; like, this life is mad.  Actually mad.  How can you see someone one night and then the next day they’ve dropped dead – with no warning at all?

When I learned that my Uncle Dale had died yesterday, shock hit me like a slap in the face and I didn’t know how to feel.  Why was this happening to me again?  Why was I being faced with another shock death in just under a year?  Why, why, why?  I mean, I could not understand it, as I’d just seen him last night at another one of my uncles’ houses.

My Uncle Dale was full of laughter, jokes and conversation, with eyes that twinkled like my beloved grandad, whose own death last year continues to feel surreal to me.  Like my grandad, he also told the famous “Burton jokes” and had a kind heart.

Each year, he was one of my uncles who regularly remembered my birthday and gave me a card, or just some money, because he wanted to give me something.  Unfortunately, I think I took that for granted, but I appreciate it so much now that he’s gone.

My uncle also had a special place in my life because he was my mum’s “twin”.  Although there were three years between them, they happened to be born on the same day.  Imagine, ten children and two of them just happen to be born on the same day – how weird and amazing is that?  I’m so grateful for the time we were able to spend with him at our house this year when he and my mum celebrated their birthdays together, which was something we had done for the first time.  That is going to be a memory I’ll now cherish forever.

I’ll miss my Uncle Dale greeting me with, “Hello Shani” and a kiss on the cheek, asking how I am and engaging in conversation at times.  I’ll miss his generosity and I’ll miss his presence at family gatherings – he truly was unique.

Although I don’t understand and struggle to comprehend why he was taken so suddenly and so soon, God knows what He’s doing and I’ve just got to trust in that.  Now my Uncle Dale is soundly asleep, resting away from this cruel world, but I hope to see him on that great day when my Jesus comes again and I can embrace him and my grandad together.

I don’t think I told you this Uncle Dale when you were alive, but I love you and always will.  May you rest in peace.

A Letter to My Grandad

Grandad,

I can’t believe it’s been a year since you passed, time flies by so fast, yet it still feels surreal.  I don’t see you anymore and you’re not here, buried how many feet down in the ground; but it feels like you should still be here.  Not seeing you feels wrong.

Going to your house, it’s weird not having you greet me at the door with one of your famous lines or watch you slowly descending down the stairs.  It’s sad not seeing you at church on a Sabbath and not hearing from you on my birthday wasn’t nice.  In fact, not being able to tell you happy birthday wasn’t nice either – August is our month and it’s a whole lot emptier without you.

There are times when sitting there thinking about you, suddenly remembering that you’re gone, can bring me to tears.  However, there are times when those thoughts bring a smile to my face, as I remember all the good memories I have of you.  Simple little things I took for granted are no longer the same and I wish I could hear another one of your Burton jokes again – you genuinely did make me laugh.

I still miss you so much grandad, a whole twelve months later, and I still want you to come back.  The pain isn’t so raw, but I don’t think my heart will ever fully recover from having you taken away.  There was still so much more for us to say, so much more time for us to spend together and a whole lot more for me to learn from you.  I keep thinking about the joke you told me about Job’s daughters, which you never finished and I never heard the end of, which saddens me more than I can describe.

Grandad, you were my inspiration and my hero, one of the people I looked up to most in the world.  I just hope I can make you proud and continue your legacy, because you were the most humble, loving, genuinely caring, considerate individual I ever knew.  I can’t wait to see you again.

Love you with all my heart.

Shan-Shan

Missing You Aunty on Your Birthday

DSC_0043I can’t believe you’re not here today on what would have been your birthday.  Two months have passed since you were suddenly taken from us and I still can’t really believe it.  My funny, caring, lovely aunty should still be around, bringing us joy every time we’d come together.

Like I said about my grandad, God obviously knew that it was your time to go and He has his reasons, but it doesn’t make it any easier.  Although death is inevitable for all of us, I never, ever expected that your life would be snatched away – definitely not at this time anyway.

I wanted to celebrate more family birthdays, family gatherings and of course, your birthdays, at your house.  I wanted to hear more of your stories, told in your unique way, in that husky voice I love so much.  I wanted to be able to see you rush around the kitchen, tell me what was in each dish and then sit down to eat your dinner once we all got our fill.  I wanted to be able to smile and laugh at all of the reading glasses you had scattered around, but now all I have is the memories.

Reminders of your birthday have popped up, and it makes me sad to think that I can’t send you a birthday message and look forward to your quirky reply back.  You used to say that the best people are born in August and you were definitely one of those.  It also makes me sad as I get closer to my birthday, because I know that I won’t have a message from you now.

I can’t believe that I have to get used to August without you too and it breaks my heart, but I feel so lucky to be able to say that I shared this month with Aunty Joce.  I miss having you around and I hope you know how much I loved you and appreciated the time we spent together.  You were the best and you’ve got also got a piece of my heart.  I love you always and forever.