We received some bad news this week. Uncle Alan passed away. If you've read my History page, he is the uncle I refer to. Although he wasn't really my uncle, we called him that because him and his wife and daughter have been family friends of ours since I was 5 and therefore, they were our Uncle and Aunt.
They were the first people we ever visited on holiday as a family. They were the people I stayed with the first time I ever travelled alone. They visited us every summer. Sometimes even in winter. They are in almost every childhood memory. We moved to England and live 10 minutes away from them. But I haven't seen him in a few years. 10 years ago he suffered a series of strokes and lost his boisterous, chatty qualities. Conversation became limited and I guess it became slightly awkward.
I cannot put into words how saddened I am that I never made more of an effort to see him, to talk to him. To say he deserved it is an understatement. But such is life. You're left with your thoughts and regrets and memories, and those memories are good ones and they are plentiful. Throughout my teenage years, he was like a second father to me, and he knew that.
It is with a very heavy heart that I say farewell. And I'm sorry.