My uncle, my dad's eldest brother, died today at 75.
This is the death of the first sibling on my dad's or mom's side. My dad also has two older sisters.
We were called yesterday and told that he may not make it through the night, and in true Uncle Larry fashion, he made it through the night to pass at noon today. Unfortunately, for the last 17 years, my Uncle has lived about 3 hours away in Upstate NY (and that is without traffic).
Uncle Larry was like a cat, no less than 9 or 10 times, family has been told to say goodbye's to him - only for him to rebound. There was three colon cancer occurrences, and many life threatening intestinal issues. That isn't even counting the 5 critical motorcycle accidents throughout his life!
Most brought on by Uncle Larry and his hard living ways. Drinking, smoking, partying, womanizing, riding motorcycles, and in general, not listening to any doctors orders.
In the end, it was his refusal to stop smoking, with the emphysema he has been battling for about 7 years, that took its final toll!!
One thing I will say way about my Uncle, he knew his flaws, accepted the consequences of his flaws, and was unapologetic about them.
And, he was about as opposite of my dad as a person could get! Which was kind of fun to watch! lol
Growing up, Uncle Larry did live nearby with #2 of his three wives, and he was a fun Uncle. He loved to spoil me, and was always like a mobile party being around him. At Christmas time, he and my aunt spent many nights sleeping over. Christmas morning when my parents would be busily cooking for the two families descending later in the day (20-30 some years), Uncle Larry would be assembling my toys, and playing with me non-stop!
Uncle Larry always bought me the biggest most obnoxious toy that I wanted that year, you know the one, the one your parents said 'NO' to getting? Yup... he would always show up with it!!!
I will never forget the year with the Barbie Townhouse, three stories tall, with a working elevator!!!! It took my uncle probably 4 hours to get that elevator to work right, but he did it!!! And, he was my hero as always!!!
Today, while we are waiting in a limbo to hear what the arrangements will be, and when, we are doing our best to remember his life, because that is what he did best!
Living full and hard!!!
Until we meet again on the Other Side... I hope Uncle Larry is riding his hog, having a scotch, and has a pretty woman on his arm.
ps. Roy Orbison was one of my Uncle's favorites, and for a while he managed a Roy impersonator/singer who was really great!