A year ago tomorrow will be the one year anniversary since my uncle passed away. Last May was one of the hardest months of my life. For weeks, my uncle suffered as he fought relentlessly against illness and infection. Every day was full of tears and uncertainty, and the only gift that came with his passing was the fact that he was no longer suffering.
Since I’m at home today, I lit the yahrzeit candle this morning in memory of my Uncle Benny. I can’t walk into the kitchen without looking at the candle and thinking about him. He taught overseas for years, so I hardly ever saw him, but when he came to visit, I always enjoyed spending time with him.
- I remember sharing a soup and sandwich with him at a local diner as he told me stories about my mom as a child.
- I remember going on a walk with him at Niagara on the Lake and talking about life.
- I remember driving around in a car with him and my other aunt and uncle, and Benny teasing my aunt about her driving skills. Benny always made me laugh.
- I remember going out for dinner with him and the rest of my family. He talked all the way through dinner. He told us about teaching, about being a grandpa, about his daughter, and about his childhood memories. Benny told the best stories.
- I remember talking to him for hours at my sister’s wedding. This was the last time that I saw him.
Oh, I wish that I could talk to Benny again! I’m sure that he would have lots to say about me switching grades from Grades 1 and 2 to Grade 6. I’m sure he would give me advice from his teaching experiences. I’m sure he would want to hear all about what I was doing, and if I was happy. I’m sure he would tell me that my students were lucky. Benny was always so supportive.
Benny, the candle burns brightly today for you. It reminds me of the life you had, and how much I miss having you in my life. You are, and will always be, in my heart. I love you, Uncle Benny!