Uncle Garry was a fantastic uncle. When I was a kid, he made me laugh and we did puzzles and watched Mystery Science Theater 3000. I think we may have stayed up until 2am once watching The Sound of Music whilst making up alternative lyrics and laughing until we cried. He was a comic book nerd and I loved Spider-Man. So, gifts were often superhero themed. His quirky and dry humor brought light to our lives. As a teenager, he encouraged me in acting in church plays and singing in church. Even as an adult, he was there for me. Making fun of my selfies or how often I colored my hair. The man cracked me up on social media with his multiple profiles he created for FarmVille.
As a newlywed, my husband and I lived around the corner from him and my Aunt B. I’d walk over occasionally to visit. It was a comfort to know they were nearby. At Christmas time, a wacky greeting card would show up unsigned and without a return address. We knew it was Uncle Garry. Or as I affectionately called him, Guncle.
When he was diagnosed with stage four cancer about a decade ago, we thought it was the end. But he said something that has stuck with me, “…family is what keeps you tethered to the earth”. And by sheer will and the grace of God, he remained here on this earth, defying the doctors and odds. He left behind his human frailty and graduated to heaven 3 days ago. His fight is over.
I’m sad yet relieved his pain is over. But so many fun stories about him replay like an 8mm home movie in my mind. Like going to the mall and buying gummy boogers. Or riding in the front seat of his cobalt blue Eclipse and hearing him sing (he had a beautiful voice). Or the locket he gave me….that had a picture of Spider-Man in it.
I imagine the family reunion that has taken place in heaven with my grandparents and the siblings who’ve gone before him. Heaven is where real life begins, after all. There is no pain or sorrow there. He is healthy, happy and made whole in the presence of his Creator. I just hope he saves me a seat at the dinner table for all the catching up we’ll have to do someday when I get there. And yes, I’m sure he’ll burp after we eat but it’s a risk I’m willing to take.
I’ve setup a GoFundMe page to help my aunt with expenses during this time. Prayers are appreciated.