As you probably read in my mother's post from yesterday, my uncle Richard passed away yesterday morning from complications post-treatment for AML.
My mother said pretty much everything there was to say, but I think there's a little more. Uncle Richard, I have one more story for you.
Uncle Richard was a funny man. He was downright weird at times, but the best kind of weird there is. He was never seen without a smile. Uncle Richard had this way about him - even in his lovely tennis shorts in December (mind you, we're in Baltimore) - to brighten the room around him.
I'll never forget the smell of his pipe (I hate smoking, but his pipe always smelled so good), the smile on his face, and the songs he used to sing, again in those tennis shorts. He would just break out into song. When us cousins were kids, we were always captivated by his humor. The one song that immediately comes to mind is, "The Littlest Worm." He would sit us down in front of him and he would have us do a special sing-a-long. We would laugh and clap and sing as loudly as we could until someone in the family quieted us down.
All of my uncles are funny in their own way, but Uncle Richard stands out. And he always will.
Cancer is no joke, especially when other complications can arise. When we heard that the leukemia was gone, we thought that was it. Besides frequent visits and blood work, possibly some treatment down the line, we thought that grueling chapter was over. Uncle Richard's immune system, however, was no match for the fungal infection.
There are so many emotions that flow through you when someone close to you dies. The emotion that overrides them all, even sadness, is anger. I'm angry for him, I'm angry for my Aunt Rea (his wife), I'm angry for his children... I'm just... angry. This is not what he deserved. I know everyone speaks highly of the dead, even the ones who drove you the most crazy. But Uncle Richard was as good as they come. Truly. I'm angry that this happened to someone so wonderful, and that my family has to once again recover from the harsh reality of cancer.
We have to keep fighting. And we will for you, Uncle Richard. I love you so much.