Every day and month disappears before you can think to look back to yesterday. Time has a way of gliding by. A year from today I got a call. The kind that makes your fingers shake, your mind scramble, and your heart literally stop for a few seconds before it stomps your body to the ground. A year ago my Uncle Johnny passed away.
Dealing with loss and death is a harsh awakening to reality and those precious moments that pass by. It’s hard waking up day after day knowing that the world has changed in a significant way beyond your reach; especially when you always worry about what will be tomorrow. Last moments are recounted and words are remembered, for most you can’t help but wonder if that moment made enough impact to carry you on in this world with no regrets. Regardless there is a hole within you that you try to fill by creating closure.
My godfather was cremated and in July all his loved ones, who could attend, arrived to a peaceful small church in Lordship, CT. Beautiful words were spoken and I had the pleasure of reading a passage. When I was asked to deliver this passage, full of wisdom, it felt wonderful to be given the honor. I’m not much for public speaking but I felt like it was an opportunity to find some closure. To this day I can’t remember the words except that they were eventful.
When I got into the church and saw the faces around me it became a reality, finally. Since I had received the call over 3 months before the funeral the shock was just then releasing as I gained perspective that this was it. Saying those words up there, trying to keep a straight face; it wasn’t effortless but I pulled through. Reading that passage was the hardest speech I have ever made. As I read out the words they hit me harder and the realization that this was it finally awakened as my voice stumbled over those blurry words with teary eyes.
That day was memorable. Lordship is a beautiful city that rest near the ocean. Unlike the cookie cutter houses I have grown to know, in the newly developing cities in the South, there are beautiful homes that are all detailed; one more different than the next. This is the place where my father and his family were raised and I have had the pleasure of spending summers from time to time. That is one more reason why that day was so memorable, surrounded with family as we retold stories and reconnected with each other.
A piece of him rest within the vast and vicarious ocean as we said our goodbyes. My Uncle Johnny was a man full of life and love. He lived for the now and cherished his time with friends and family. Because of him my childhood was brighter. I recall the stuffed tiger he got me that was 10 times my size. The Sea-doo rides where he would pull doughnuts, scaring my cousin and I from falling into the ocean. Often he clammed with my grandfather and dad to stockpile for a night of seafood joy. I’ll never forget the warmth one always felt around him that made everyday with him feel as if today was all that matters. Tomorrow would come but today is now. That gift I will always keep. When life gets hard and everything seems overwhelming I will think of my Uncle Johnny and be reminded to enjoy the present, crack open a beer, and celebrate the fact that I am still alive to remember him so that he will last for eternity within my heart.
To everyone who has lost a loved one that they will forever cherish I found a passage that expressed how I felt about the one’s that never leave, for they earned a place inside our hearts.