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08/19/2007 Archived Entry: "Carpe Diem"

MY FAVORITE UNCLE IS DYING. Debra here. I just received word from my family that one of my favorite uncles has brain cancer. They give him less than a year to live, and less than 8 months of quality life.

I've known this man well from childhood. Because they lived less than an hour's drive away, our families always got together for holidays. Thanksgiving was the best because all my father's siblings had large families. So Thanksgiving afternoon was spent with dozens of cousins running through their HUGE old Victorian-style house, watching the Lions get creamed on TV, or playing pool in the basement (my uncle had his "bachelor pad" down there, complete with wet bar and smoked-mirror walls. Hey, it was the 70's!). Friday morning looked like Jonestown, with bodies sleeping anywhere they could find a horizontal surface.

My uncle loves his toys. They had a cottage on the lake for a long time, and every summer we'd manage to spend some time there. He taught me to water-ski, patiently circling the boat back to pick me up when I fell over (a rather frequent occurence). When they sold the cottage, they also sold the motorboat, but replaced it with a larger cruising boat. I had my first beer on that boat; still have the picture, too.

When my husband went through open heart surgery, my aunt and uncle were there for me. My aunt had recently undergone the same procedure, so they knew what we were going through. They sent cards, made phone calls and offered their support (in my family this is a big deal; we're weird in that we adore each other, but can go literally years without communicating).

I'm flying out in November to spend my last Thanksgiving with him. I only hope I don't spend the entire time bawling. I've never had anyone close to me die. My mind keeps shouting, "It's NOT FAIR!" And it's not.

It's not fucking fair at all.

Posted by Debra @ 08:30 AM CST

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