While sitting here in Pennsylvania, going back and forth to the hospital, trying somehow to deal with my mother’s deteriorating condition, we received another devastating blow: my uncle (my mother’s older brother), the novelist, died yesterday in Rhode Island.
He was 75. He was also my godfather. (Although, as I learned only in my early twenties, organized religion was not exactly his thing.) He had been in declining health for some time, yet somehow also seemed “indestructible.” His end came quickly and unexpectedly.
He was one of my writing inspirations. I remember thinking for years that if he could write books, why couldn’t I give it a go. He had been suggesting for some time as well that I try writing – of course never anticipating I’d someday generally base a character on him. 😉
And he took that in stride. The man from whom much of my novels’ “Uncle Bill” is sourced is gone. There will be no more Facebook messages I can share with you that entertainingly urge “this” or “that” of me. Nor any more possible “slip ups.” Sadly I never did get to see him on this visit to the States, but in his last private message – it was only the other day – he had written to me that he was proud of me.
My uncle, and next my mother will probably soon follow. My father, a heart patient as you may know, refuses to leave my Mom’s hospital bedside for more than a few minutes at a time, and I fear – trying to sleep in a chair, erratic eating, stress – he’ll become ill again next himself. It seems every day is just more bad news: I feel helpless and like the wheels are coming off of everything.
However, when I close my eyes and breathe in and consider it all more broadly and calmly, I also know that’s certainly not the whole truth. Life has its horrible times, and they happen to all of us. When they do, we must be strong and go on.
As I try to step back and reflect on my uncle’s passing, I realize I’m so pleased I had decided to reveal to him that I had taken up novel-writing. His praise and encouragement after I’d let him in on “my secret,” and shown him the books, meant so much to me. If you want to tell someone you love something, do it today – don’t put it off, because you never know…
As you might have guessed, this post is just a brief return. I won’t be back daily on here for the time being. Take care for now, and thanks for reading.