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Uncle Al

You know what gets me. Death. Sometimes I understand it & sometimes I don't. My great Uncle passed away this weekend. He was a good man. He was 88 & truly lived a great life. He was a huge part of our community & an extremely well respected fella... & Sadly... I'm just realizing this to its extent. It's ironic how death can be the most jolting wake up factor in your life. The fact that after they pass, you see family members you haven't seen in a while. You look through photos from decades ago. It's a whirlwind of remembrance & respect. Typically... You come to learn so much more about your loved one than you ever had before.

There is guilt . The guilt of not spending more time with these people & it makes you realize you should start to make more time for others who are fortunate enough to still be here with you.

There is empathy. I think of my Aunt, who lost her husband of 65 years... & can't imagine what a lost feeling that must be.

There is remorse. I think of the times I could have struck up more convos with him & learned more about him.

& There is Sadness. The mere fact that he's gone. Regardless of how often you've seen this person... Daily basis or holiday basis... This time around...They won't be there.

I know majority of my blogs are happy go lucky, but at the most they are pretty real. But today... I'm sad. Since my uncles passing I have learned more about him from his obituary than I ever knew before. This really bothers me. This is a man, I would sit at the Holiday dinner table next to and EVERY SINGLE YEAR he would ask for a piece of Pie.... Eat the said piece of pie, while others are being served their pie.. & then by the time my Aunt would finally sit down to eat her pie, his would be gone and he would pretend she never served him a piece. I found this so funny. I would sit there and just wait for it to happen. Every. Single. Time. & The best part was watching his smile light up so proud because we all "fell" for it once again this year.

I know these things about him. The aspect of family. How he loved hunting and the outdoors. How he would pretend to be salty when my aunt would shoot a bigger deer than him, but really beam with pride. I know he ran track at Cornell. That he was the president of Key Bank & retired when I was 4. I knew how at christmas he would always get presents of new socks & cashews... He would shake the wrapped can of cashews & say... "I think these are nuts, I just know it! "

I knew the basics. But it's funny because I never really knew how much I actually had in common with him.

When he retired... I was a pup. I knew nothing of business, or Noon Rotary. or being a board member for various Non-profits... & it certainly isn't something you would typically chat with four year old jesca about.

As I grew older he taught me things here & there... Always said that when I find the man I want to marry... I need to make sure I like the way he looks first thing in the morning.. & if I can handle that ...when they look their worst... Then I can keep him... I sometimes taught him things... Like one night at my new house I invited him & my aunt over for dinner and took a picture of us with a selfie stick... He was amazed by this contraption & made me take multiple pics at different angles.

The paper wrote a nice article on him today, So I went to the store and bought them out. I'm not sure what to do with 9 papers, But I don't want anyone else to have them really... I wanted them all. It's funny how two generations ago, he ran in the circles I am currently trying to be a part of. He literally ran them. He was president of Noon Rotary... I am a mere peasant noon Rotarian. He literally was part owner of my office building... I've paid him rent for the last three years & didn't even realize it at first. He made such an impact in our community & I literally am so proud to learn all of this. To learn of the legacy he left behind & the people he affected.

I feel that from this point there isn't sense in living in regret of not chatting with him up and down about his take on business. I wish I would have. But I can't now. But maybe just focus on learning more and more about him through his peers that are still around and in business. Through my Aunt , who was his biggest supporter and quite a boss lady herself. It's funny how this has affected me. It's almost as if I just knew him as Uncle Al... when in reality, I would have idolized him.

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