Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wake up call

I received the news that my uncle Bill had passed away last week.  Our relationship had become what many relationships become......................a Christmas card, a phone call every couple of years.  That is pretty normal when you don't live close and everyone has busy lives.  But then you get the call and your head starts spinning.  Why didn't I keep in closer touch.  Why didn't I jot him an email when I was thinking of him.  He was my God father.  When I was growing up my parents moved us from San Jose to Anaheim California.  The drive was a good 8 hours.  To this day hate driving and I think  that was passed down from my dad.  My grandma Rozak and my aunts and uncles on my mom's side lived 8 hours away.  Dad hated the drive and I always got car sick.  The night before we were to leave to come home, I would not be able to sleep because I was dreading the car ride home.  The upside to living 8 hours away was that during summer vacation, my mom and dad would drive me up to San Jose, and after a couple of days my parents would leave and I would have the whole summer with my grandma and pap pap.  I am the oldest of their grandchildren.  They would spoil me and love me and that was the best times of my growing up.  I was safe, I was cared for, I was happy.  I had cousins to play with and I had my aunts and uncles who were so, so good to me.  I have the best memories of grandma's house.  The smell of peaches simmering on the stove, homemade bread, homemade danish.  Grandma would buy me my school clothes for the following year.  Pap pap would bring me in fresh raspberries from his back yard.  They also had peach and plum trees.  They also had a back yard swing that I have to this day, some 33 years after grandma died.  Oh, life was simple back then.  My uncle Bill had a car that the lights had covers, so when he started the car the covers lifted and the light came on.  Back then, that was so cool.  Uncle Bill also had a swimming pool at his house and we would go over to swim.  He had a big house with white pillars inside.  Uncle Bill's first marriage didn't last and grandma cut his wife out of all the family and wedding photos.  Grandma loved everyone, but after Barbara and Bill divorced, she was done with Barbara.  Uncle Bill's second marriage didn't last either but he did have a son he adored from that marriage.  Finally he met and married Diane, he was finally happy and had a good marriage.  My mom visited them before her death and she felt so comfortable with Diane and she had such a fun trip.  Whenever you lose someone, especially a family member, your mind just starts spinning with memories.  You get hit square in the face that life is precious and we have the past, we don't know about the future.  All we are sure of is the present.  Everyday we are on this earth is a present to be celebrated.  Tell your loved ones you care.  Email that person you haven't kept in contact with in awhile.  Pick up that phone and call the person you are thinking of.  Don't put it off, because you never know what tomorrow may bring.

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