His Name Was Uncle Howard

Today has been a rough one.

My dad, aunt, grandmother and grandfather hit the road last night to be in Illinois with my aunt and my ailing uncle, who had two severe strokes yesterday. I barely slept, for several reasons, mainly because of my concern for family in Illinois and those headed there, and because my sleep schedule has been wacky lately.

Then, in a panic, I awoke when I heard my father’s voice call out “Hello!” and heard him moving about the house. Yet, he had left at 9PM last night and this “occurred” at about 3:30AM. Auditory hallucinations suck.

I slept until about 5:40AM when I was again awakened by the sound of an unknown person walking through the house. My heart raced and I had to recall where the closest weapon in my room was located. Then I remembered that I possess a phone, so that calmed me down. For some reason I then thought it would be a good idea to walk around the house looking for an imagined intruder.

The rest of my morning was good; solid breakfast, good hang time with my mother and stepfather, and then I got the phone call. My father called from the road, about an hour outside of Casey, Illinois, and he told me that my uncle had passed earlier in the morning.

I guess that I’m still processing his death, but for now, after a much-needed hike, I’m relaxing after a fantastic dinner, and reflecting on the man I knew as my Uncle Howard. I’ve poured my self two fingers of Gentleman Jack and I toast the man’s life, his family, and his legacy.