Uncle Rene

My uncle died tonight.

He had been lingering. Cancer coated all the organs in his body… he was being kept alive by a respirator / life support machine. He recently caught pneumonia that caused total renal failure… and that’s what did him in finally. He’s been in this limbo for some months now. But I got home tonight… and was casually told that he was gone. And no one had told my dad yet. It’s his brother. “Well… he just got home and he hadn’t even eaten yet. I didn’t want to mess up his digestion.” My mom’s rationale has never changed. “Well… we didn’t want to tell you about the cancer because we didn’t want to mess up your birthday….” So the rest of the world walked around knowing for two weeks that both my own parents had cancer and I was oblivious.

But she just told him. And he is quiet. I’m not really sure what kind of relationship Daddy had with his brother. But I can only imagine how he feels. How I’d feel if someone told me that my brother had died. Strangely enough, he’s the ONLY person I can’t imagine not being in this world anymore. He’s ALWAYS been there. And he’s always been my brother. What kind of world would this be without him. I wouldn’t know it. It’s always been he and I against all the grown ups.

I’m going to pray for my Dad… it’s only him and one other brother left out of 4. And the final (and eldest) is estranged. So it’s kind of like… he’s all alone.

I took a picture with Uncle Rene last time I saw him… which I now realize is the last time I will see him… until…

when i find it i guess i’ll include it in my ever growing album of photos with people I’ll never see again.

Rene Cantave b. circa 1928 – 2004 *

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