Thursday, January 04, 2007

Uncle Bill

Baptism Day 1971


This has been a very strange holiday season for us. My beloved Godfather known as Uncle Bill passed away suddenly on December 19, 2006. Suddenly, the week that was supposed to be last minute Christmas preparations, baking and shopping was turned upside down. I was grateful to make it to the hospital before he passed away...the last thing I told him was that I loved him and would come back after dinner. He passed away at 3pm there was no after dinner.

The last time I saw him was the week prior when he and my Godmother Aunt Lil dropped by my place after having lunch with some friends. He brought my girls the book Marsupial Sue that he got in his cereal box. Despite having grandchildren that numbered into the twenties I was always a very special part of this family. And in turn, my girls became a part of this.

We quickly made arrangements and Friday night held his funeral. Which, by all accounts was an upbeat kind of affair. Everyone had such nice funny stories to share, he would have loved it. My Aunt is coping so well although I am sure the shock of it all is still so fresh. She has been keeping busy and taking care of the endless paperwork that seems to accompany such an event. I will miss him so much, he was a second father to me and my Godparents doted on me in a way parents can't.

Our relationship was special. My parents divorced when I was very young and while both my Mom and Dad remarried when I was ten years old, my Godparents were my constant. Life goes on and there were more divorces a much desired brother and sister from my father's second marriage, and my Godparents. My Mom and Dad were friends with my future Godparents and they lived in the same apartment building in North York, on Underhill Drive. At some points they all worked with each other and they were fast becoming dear friends.

My Mom stopped by their apartment on the way to the hospital for tea. My Mom felt that at 6 weeks away from her due date she had plenty of time for tea despite the fact her water had broke. In the photo below she is in my Godparents apartment and on her way to the hospital! She crocheted the scarf and hat and my Godmother, Aunt Lil had a matching set. My Mother managed to make dinner, clean up and have tea before proceeding to the hospital. Unbelievable.

Mom on her way to the hospital


My Uncle Bill was at my Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation, trips to the zoo, trips to see Santa, my highschool graduation, my university graduation, camping, every birthday party, my wedding where he spoke for me, and all my girls birthday parties. All my friends loved Uncle Bill. When I was ten and broke my arm he drew with markers the most beautiful butterfly on my cast. I distinctly remember the fit I threw when the cast had to be changed. Of course, Uncle Bill drew me another. Hubby remarked as I started to look at photos that the only word to describe my Godparents love and attention was devotion. I was the little girl they never had and I knew it. Not in a bratty way I just new I was loved and doted on and felt extremely special. There is not a single childhood milestone they were not a part of which is remarkable. I was so lucky to have such a constant presence of love in my life. I wish it dearly for my girls. I worry they won't have that one special relative or friend that is their Uncle Bill and Aunt Lil.

Sweet 16 dinner at The Keg, note the earrings and necklace - not to mention the bad eyeliner!

It is Papoosie Girl who has been able to comprehend and digest this better than the rest of us with frequent proclamations of, "I'm sad for Uncle Bill" or "I'm sad that Aunt Lil is sad." Me too sweetie, me too.

Now it is well into the New Year and we must move on. As we struggle through the barfing flu at our house I am reminded that this too shall pass and in a week or so I won't even remember the 8 hours where there was at least one child throwing up every fifteen minutes. What I will always remember with love and fondness is my Uncle Bill with his earring, ponytail, his incredible artistic abilities and affection for a nice dark rum. How he could play the spoons and loved eagles and always dressed so spiffy.

Time will march on but Uncle Bill will forever be in my heart.

1 comment:

Alpha Dogma said...

That was beautiful salute to your godfather. You were lucky to have such a special relationship.