On December 31, 2016, before midnight, my uncle Norman had a dance with his beautiful wife(my daddy's youngest sister), Lois, at their local legion, after they decided to call it an early night and head home. A short while later in the parking lot of the legion, Uncle Norman, started their car, pulled out of their parking space. He then proceeded to re-park the car, turn off the ignition and have a massive heart attack and pass away.
To say the least his entire family (my aunt Lois, their 4 kids and all their grandkids) and the rest of the family were devastated. Dennis and I headed to Alberta to be with my aunt and cousins during this time. My uncle was awesome! He taught... OK he TRIED to teach me... how to peel potatoes KP style (he was in the British Army back in the day) when he was home in Ireland. He taught me how to make amazing Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, he taught me other kitchen tricks. He had a laugh that was infectious.
I personally felt very guilty about going to his funeral, as I had hoped to go last fall to see them but we went to see my mom instead, so the plan was to go out this spring. I didn't want my last visit with my favourite uncle to be at his funeral, but God had other plans. I am so happy though to know I will see him again and then it will be for eternity!
While at the celebration of his life, my aunt asked me to have a drink with her and Norma, (Norma was my daddy's second wife and she and her boyfriend played parts in where my daddy is now in life) and to put the past behind us. It was a very hard decision for me to make... so incredibly hard that I almost didn't want to go to Alberta, because I knew she would be there. But I went, I went and I spoke to her. I told her that I had forgiven her long ago, but that it didn't do a thing for my heart to know that my kids would never know just how awesome of a man my daddy was. I told her how whatever her part, and her boyfriends part... and my dad's part, was in it all I can not convey to my kids how much he would have loved them, how proud he would be of them all and how much he would have been THE BEST PAPA EVER to them! I told her how each of our kids remind me off my daddy and how that breaks my heart (and makes it soar) every time I see it in them. I told her how our Sammi looks SO much and acts SO MUCH like my dad it is scary! I told here that I forgave her because I did it for ME.... not for her, not for daddy, not for anyone but ME. I had to because it was killing me. I told her how I had told dad that if he truly felt he belonged with her that I would support him and love him no matter what. She told me how she thinks of him everyday and she loves him (even though she is now married again) but I told her that I not only think of my dad everyday, I MISS him everyday because my daddy is gone. He effectively died that day and all that is left now is a shell.
I don't ever expect to see her again (but I may if I go to visit my aunt), but I am glad to got to say my peace with her. I am glad she knows that I forgive her but that the choices that were made that day affected not only her, her boyfriend and my dad but they affected me, Denis, our kids and the future generations of my family that will never know him. Never hear HIS laugh, hear him tell a joke (but insist you clean it up before you pass it on lol), here him tell them how much he loves them and how proud he is of them. I often say to Dennis "I wonder if dad would have....
- had a cell phone and learned to text to communicate with the kids
- had a FB profile
- rode with Josh in his Mack hay hauler
- sat and enjoyed a beer with Sammi on a Saturday afternoon
- talked religion vs. faith with Isaac
- bought our Hannah a bouquet of flowers and had them delivered to the school for her birthday
- would have been proud of me and how I have raised my family
all these things I wonder but I will never know because he was taken from me, from us. But I am so glad I got to tell her. I still want to hate her but I can't. I can't because they not only took my dad from me, they took my awesome kids from their lives too...and sometimes I think that is punishment enough.
With this being said, I still cry about talking to her. My anxiety was so bad that day that it was crushing me. There is more I could have said, maybe should have said, but I hugged her and that was it. I left the area where we were talking and headed to the bar of the legion where the celebration of life was and enjoyed the rest of the evening reminiscing with my cousins and sharing their grief. I buried mine that night.... again and maybe one day I can have someone to share my grief with.....