Day 405: Uncle Pat

Rachel, Day by Day

I didn’t take these photos recently, but I know I at least took the first photo, so I’m counting it for my blog. These are photos of my Uncle Pat. The first one was taken in Michigan a few years ago. I’ve always loved that photo of him; he looks extremely happy. I miss that smile. I remember telling him to steer the boat so I could take a picture of him. He was nice enough to do it for me.

For this second photo, I want to guess it was taken in 2005. I know I was in college since I’m wearing the shirt we had created while living in the dorms. I think it was my little cousin’s birthday party. I love this photo because I really think it defines our relationship. We were very close.

I typed up a letter to my uncle this morning. I wanted to write something to him, hoping he is watching over me and reading this. I thought I’d share it with you.

Dear Uncle Pat,

I’ve missed you for an entire year now. It’s hard to believe you left this world 365 days ago. It feels like I haven’t seen you in years, but at the same time, it feels like yesterday when I got that horrible phone call from Ray telling me you passed on. Your cell phone number is still in my phone. There have been numerous times this past year when I saw your name and wanted to call you. I wish I could hear your voice right now.

I’m still confused as to why you left this world so suddenly. Everything happened so fast. There was no time to process anything. I don’t know if I’ll ever accept it. Cancer really is a bitch. But, I’m so thankful that I got to see you one last time the weekend before you died. I’m thankful for that every single day of my life. You were in the hospital, but you were still smiling that wonderful smile of yours, and you were so strong. You kept telling us how you expected to be out of the hospital in a few days. Little did I know that was the last time I’d see you. If I knew that, I would have wrapped my arms around you and never let you go. I would have told you I love you over and over again. I cried as I was leaving you in your hospital room, but I remember glancing back one last time at you. You smiled and waved to me. I’ll never forget that moment. Ever.

I am really thankful that we had such a close relationship. You were able to confide in me about things, and vice versa. I remember having conversations about work, boys, vacations, and other things while going on walks or riding in the car with you. I miss these conversations, even our general ones, like what kind of computer you should buy, movies, and our Smallville obsession. I miss visiting you at work, playing games, and going on vacations with you. I miss putting my head on your shoulder. I miss everything.

This past year has been difficult without you, Pat. I still sometimes forget you are gone. The other day, I had a question about the show Dallas, and for a split second, I thought about asking you. The one thing that really bothered me at first after you died was that I hoped you really knew how much I love you and how much you touched my life. And now, looking back on our amazing memories together, I believe you did know. We had so many laughs together.

Pat, you are in my heart, always and forever.

Love,
Rachel

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