Today was… odd. On one hand, FA came over and it was a great time as usual. We geeked out, worked on things, talked about all kinds of stuff, went for a quick trip to the hardware store, and even had lunch at the burrito shop. It was fun.
On the other hand, my uncle with ALS passed away this morning. He’d gone into the hospital with breathing problems in the middle of the night on Saturday, but I don’t really know what happened after that point. I called my folks around noon to see how he (and they) were doing and that was when Mom said he was gone.
I didn’t know him well – he’s thousands of kilometers away – but that doesn’t mean I didn’t care about him. I still feel bad for him, my parents (he was Mom’s brother but he and Dad were close), and my aunts and uncles. ALS is a terrible, awful disease, but even as it progressed and he lost the use of more and more of his body, he stayed in good spirits. I think everyone expected him to be around for longer than he was; the breathing problems started suddenly and he was gone the next day. That, I think, was a shock to everyone.
For years now, I’ve had invitations from family all over the place to visit and see the sights, but even before I got sick I didn’t visit for one reason or another. I didn’t mind, though, because I always assumed that there was still plenty of time. But here’s the thing – I’m in my mid-forties. My folks are in their late-sixties, and their brothers and sisters are anywhere from five years younger to a dozen years older. Time marches on, regardless of how hard or often we deny it, or try to ignore it. I wish I’d known my uncle better, and I regret not making the effort to do that.
My parents haven’t really slept in two days and they sounded pretty beat on the phone. I don’t really know what to do, but I feel quite strongly that I should go and see them. Bring them lunch, talk to them, give them hugs. That sort of thing. I’m not sure how to go about it or when, but I need to do it soon. I need to think.