My Uncle

Monday morning as I was getting ready to go to work my aunt called.  I could tell by her tone and the timing that this was not a pleasant call.  I was not expecting what I heard. I expected something but not what I heard. My uncle died. Yes he died in his sleep sitting on the couch in  his living room in the home that he grew up in with my father and the other 2 brothers and 2 sisters. My uncle died. My uncle died. I heard myself scream. I heard myself say no, no, no, no. I cried, I fell on the floor, I dropped the phone. My sons woke up and comforted me. My older son tried to help me off the floor. My younger son was helping him.  My son took the phone and said something. I stared at him. I cried and he did not. He was my knight.  I remember him saying mom calm down. I remember my body shaking. I had to get myself together for them. I had to stop. I got up, went upstairs to my room with my boys on each side of  me. My older son told me that I should go to bed. I listened. He called my boss and left a message. I remember just taking off my pants and my boys were like whoa mom! I said my bad. We laughed. They teased me about it. I cried and laughed. They left.  When they came back I was in my pj’s in my bed, telling them what to do. They listened. I cried some more.

I called my aunt back. We talked and cried. I shook more than ever. I loved my uncle. He was only 55 years old. He was a man who had transformed himself a zillion times over. He began as a young boy with a paper route. He had to be about 12 and I was 7. My grandmother, his mother, got us up real early in the morning to go to the Mississippi Press downtown and pick up the papers that were stacked in bundles tied with white rope. We rolled the papers and put rubber bands around them and then we began the process of delivery.  My uncle would lean out of the back window and throw the papers on the porch (hopefully) of the peoples homes that were in his paper route. I could not roll as fast as him however I rolled.  My grandmother was a pro at rolling papers and at making rosary beads.  Yes, I learned how to make them also.  They were not my favorite thing to do however I could make a mean pair of rosary beads back in the day.  My uncle would collect the money weekly from his clients and that was his very first job. He was a man on  a mission.  A man who I have and will always love and admire. We were more like friends than relatives. Friends you choose, relatives well you just have. I would choose him as a friend. As time went on our relationship grew and he was always nice to me  and I know that he admired me.

He was a man in transformation. A man who was so looking forward to our family reunion that just so happens to be scheduled for next weekend. The 4th of July weekend is when the family reunion will be and it will also be the weekend that my uncle who began the planning of the family reunions will be buried.  I was not planning on going nor were quite a few family from this area due to the cost and due to other obligations that cropped up.  My uncle wanted us there, he said he understood why we couldn’t come  and yet he went and made it so all of us had to come.

After reading the second reading at Mass and helping his brother around the house and then resting and enjoying a good game on a Sunday evening he passed away. What could be better. No long illness, no painful accident – just eternal sleep. His brother, my other uncle, woke up to find him still on the couch. He thought he was asleep. He was not.  God took him because he needed him more?, because we needed to be together as family?,  because his job on earth was finished?, because we needed to learn a lesson?, because he loved him more?, because we need to appreciate each other? I am not sure of what the because is; however, what I do know is that God works all things together for the good of them who love the Lord. I trust and believe that to be true. My uncle was a man, like the David of the bible, who sought after the heart of God. He is there with Him now. With my father, my grandmother and grandfather and my great-aunt and my Mudear. All there together.  I will miss him and according to they (I know, who is they?) he is in a better place.

Retiring at 55 aaaahhh yes it is a good thing.

Yolande Barial
Your Words Project: Speaking on Purpose
Seeks to Enrich the Lives of Women through Spoken and Written Word.

“Through her inspirational writings and spiritual poetry, Yolande Barial empowers all sisters, young and seasoned, to become on-purpose for themselves.”


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