Being it's such a large family it's a blessing to know that we've suffered no real tragedies or losses through the years that weren't expected (with the exception of my grandfather, but he passed away before I was born, so I don't count that). No premature deaths (aside from the most recent mention), no major debilitating accidents, no permanent injuries, no jail sentences (whilst in the family anyway, that counts right?), no suicides...all the things that statistics say should have occurred within the mass number that is my family. We've experienced job loss, drug addiction, alcoholism, homosexuality (of which I don't deem should be in this category, but unfortunately it is a statistic), chronic illness, divorce... so we've not gone untouched. Overall though, we are a lucky group.
I know as I age, that means that my dad and his siblings age as well. And being in the line of work that I am, I'm also aware of what that eventually leads to. So with that being said it's never a good feeling to hear about someone you love sick and not bouncing back quite as quickly.
My Uncle Larry married into this wacky family having grown up across the street from the lot of them in his youth. He married my Aunt Nadine, the oldest of the 9 and he fathered three of my most favourite cousins; Alison, Marc and Tara. He is an extraordinary man with patience of a saint. He has the most generous heart ever. He's smart and he's funny. He's tolerant. He's a hard worker who has provided for his family. He's easy to talk to. He's approachable. And he's got a great smile. I love my Uncle Larry and I'm pretty sure that my family would not feel complete without him being around. He's just always been here. He's been in the hospital fighting a harder fight against a chronic illness that's plagued him for years. His meds are no longer responding and they are trying to figure out what the next step is. He's had some complications while they sort this out and has had to remain in the hospital for the past week.
I'm heading down to Windsor on Friday and I very much have a need to go see him. I'm not sure why, but it's important to me. I have every hope and belief that he'll be going home but I just want to give him a hug. Make sure he knows I love him. And that's all. Just a hug. I want to hug my Aunt Nadine too. She's probably freaking out and scared and feeling helpless. I'm sure I'd be feeling the exact same way after 40 years of marriage and a lifetime of friendship.
Get well soon Uncle Larry, we need you around for many more years and memories!