Monday, March 03, 2008

There Aren’t Words

My Uncle Charlie passed away yesterday.

It’s a complete shock. I’ve been trying to remember if he was 59, or 60.

I was on the phone with Brian when I discovered the e-mail from my cousin, Christina… (Patrick, the one who helped you with your research question, the one who works with convicted criminals). I don’t even know how I processed the news at the time, because in the middle of the night I was sitting here, thinking maybe I’d misread the message, that it just couldn’t be right…

Hopefully, I’ll be able to pull together a more fitting memorial post later in the week, perhaps a ‘best of’ from Uncle Charlie. Long-time readers of my blog will recognize his name as a regular supplier of off-color jokes. Uncle Charlie was one of those people who enjoyed life, had no ulterior motives, didn’t play games with people, and was easy to talk to… I’d thought I’d get a chance to visit soon, maybe this year or next. One of the things about moving east meant being closer to people I haven’t had much of a chance to see in years.

He will be sorely missed.





He said: I was in my early forties,
With a lot of life before me,
An' a moment came that stopped me on a dime.
I spent most of the next days,
Looking at the x-rays,
An' talking 'bout the options
an' talkin’ ‘bout sweet time.
I asked him when it sank in,
That this might really be the real end?
How’s it hit you when you get that kind of news?
Man whatcha do?

An' he said: "I went sky diving,
I went rocky mountain climbing,
I went two point seven seconds
on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying.
An' he said: Some day, I hope you get the chance,
To live like you were dyin'

He said I was finally the husband,
That most the time I wasn’t.
An' I became a friend a friend would like to have.
And all of a sudden goin' fishin’,
Wasn’t such an imposition,
And I went three times that year I lost my Dad.
Well, I finally read the Good Book,
And I took a good long hard look,
At what I'd do if I could do it all again,
And then:

I went sky diving,
I went rocky mountain climbing,
I went two point seven seconds
on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying.
An' he said: Some day, I hope you get the chance,
To live like you were dyin'

16 comments:

John McFetridge said...

Sandra, I'm very sorry for your loss. There really aren't words.

I will miss his jokes.

What a day, Jeff Healy (Angel Eyes) passed away yesterday, too.

angie said...

I'm so sorry to hear that, Sandra. Words seem so lame and inadequate, I won't even go there. Just...very sad to hear this.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Thanks guys, and to those who've e-mailed.

I have spoken to my cousin, Melissa. Charlie had a massive heart attack.

Randy Johnson said...

I'm so sorry.

pattinase (abbott) said...

So sorry to hear it.

Chris said...

I'm very sorry, Sandra.

David Terrenoire said...

I'm sorry about your loss, Sandra. Uncles area great gift I think, and I hope I live up to my responsibility the way yours did.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Thanks everyone. I feel useless. My cousins are in their early 20s, and I just think of how devastating to lose their dad so young.

And David, I feel confident you do.

Daniel Hatadi said...

Oh man, so sorry for you, Sandra. We'll all miss those jokes.

D.A. Davenport said...

Sandra, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. He sounds like every kid's favorite Uncle. Take care.

James Goodman-Horror Writer said...

Sandra, I'm so sorry for your loss.

Christa M. Miller said...

I'm so very sorry, Sandra. Will be thinking of you and your family.

RAC said...

Sandra, this is very sad news and I'll be thinking about you and your family during this time.

JamesO said...

I'm really sorry to hear that, Sandra. Like others have said, words seem somehow not enough, but you have my deepest sympathies.

And I'll miss the jokes, too.

M. G. Tarquini said...

Oh Sandra! I'm so very sorry. I'll say a prayer.

Amra Pajalic said...

Sandra, I'm so sorry to read this post and your sad news.