Saying Goodbye…


Yesterday was an off day for me. I’d fallen asleep in the most uncomfortable recliner, waking up at 6:30 am. My decision was to make my upstairs and either crawl in my bed, or get a start to my day. Sometimes, if I look at my email, Twitter, and Facebook I can get the blood pumping and my brain somewhat functioning. I am so not a morning person. Yet since I’ve been away from my previous job, I wake up earlier than I did then.

I chose to walk into my home office. Sitting down in front of my computers, (yes, I have two computers set up in my office,) I made them suffer my own fate and come out of hibernation. Blinking several times, I saw nothing intriguing in my email. Perusing Facebook, I noticed a young second cousin had written.  “He’s in a better place.”

Whoa, the adrenaline rush! Who was in a better place? That usually means someone has died. His grandfather, my uncle, has been really ill, but surely I wouldn’t be reading about that on Facebook! Scrolling down, I found a post by my cousin. Yeah, there it was in obituary fashion, news of my uncle’s passing.  I found my cousin was on Facebook, and started grilling him for some answers, but he really didn’t have the information for what I wanted to know.

I grabbed my cell phone and called my mom. Maybe someone had called her and she was trying to let me sleep. *sigh* No, that wasn’t the case, I ended up waking her up.  In tears, the debate started in my head. Do I go halfway across the states? Will I just be in the way? I didn’t  get to say goodbye when he was here. Even now, the tears are starting to well up again. I think for now, I just want to reminisce.

I loved my uncle. My earliest childhood memory is of him. When I was very tiny he’d bundle me up into his car when I wouldn’t go to sleep. He’d take me driving and we’d go to my favorite road. The Long Curve. It always seemed to calm me, I remember, and I’d go to sleep. I would often dream about those drives through the years. 12 years ago, I found The Long Curve. I was thrilled that it was still there. I wasn’t looking for it, I just stumbled across it as I was driving in Wichita, Kansas.  I instantly recognized it, the old feelings came rushing back and I smiled. I didn’t have a lot to smile about in those days. I’d just moved to Kansas from South Carolina after a divorce with three young boys in tow.

Uncle Rocky, I love you and will miss you. You were a great American, serving your country in a time of war and then stateside for so many years in the Veteran Affairs department. You served not just locally, but for the State of South Carolina. I know the men and women you helped loved and appreciated so much all the things you did for them.

We didn’t agree on our politics, nor would you share your recipe for chicken stew because I was a female,  but that didn’t stop me from loving you. Your laughter always made me smile and a hug from you was one of the most marvelous things to me.

As Tucker said, “he’s in a better place.” I’m looking forward to seeing you again one day and maybe we can find another long curve.

3 Responses to “Saying Goodbye…”

  1. 1 Eva Eberle

    This is beautiful and has me crying. I know for a fact this is how Laura felt about her Uncle Rocky. She loved him very much. He was always so generous and had that wonderful sense of humor you would wait to hear come out when you least expected it.

    We could not help but love him.

  2. 2 Steve Byars

    Thanks for the kind words and sharing….just ran across your blog and was glad to read your thoughts about daddy….

    • 3 zannniee

      Thanks Steve. Your dad was amazing in so many ways. He bought Jerry and I our first calculators the summer I came to visit there. I remember I got to go with him when he headed out to Clemson, I think to see you. We stopped at Hardee’s and my love for biscuits and gravy started right then and there. That just wasn’t something I’d had in California before. Uncle Rocky gave me a lot of my firsts.

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