I read a quote from a writing instructor once that said, "Write about what keeps you up at night." Today I am. I had a hard time going to sleep last night after I found out my uncle Wayne, my dad's younger brother had died on the weekend. It's not that we were particularly close - I hadn't even seen him in about 25 years, but I have, fairly recently, gotten reaquainted with my cousin, his son. I was filled with sadness, particularly this morning when I went to count Sunday's collection at the church office where I sometimes fill in as secretary, and there was a funeral going on, with very few people present. I wondered if my uncle would have a funeral, or a memorial, or something. He had been in rough shape for a long time and so I truly hope he will finally rest in peace.
Years ago when I was on the early side of my teen years I remember Wayne coming to visit my family as he used to do every so often. The well loved Canadian folk singer, Stan Rogers had recently died and Wayne had brought my parents a record that had been sold posthumously, I believe. My mom put the record on, and as the familiar baritone filled the room, Wayne put his arm around my mom's shoulder. She put her arm around his and they rocked back and forth, singing along with tears in their eyes. At the time I had mixed feelings about this display. I thought they were a bit crazy, but I knew my mom was empathizing with Wayne. And I loved her for it.
Wayne's death will not have come as a surprise for his son, who had visited him frequently over the past couple of years and witnessed his demise in person. It must be hard for him all the same, but I hope he is finding comfort in the fact that he was recently with most of our family at our happy reunion in August, representing Wayne's section of the family, a role he will continue to fill even more so now.