Ugh, this has been a tough week. Last Monday was already a shitty day for daycare-related reasons (more on this later), then we got one of those awful late night calls that turns your world upside down. My aunt came home from work and found my uncle laying on the floor, dead from a massive heart attack. He was 56 years old.
When I first got the call, the cause of death was still unclear. My mind raced through the possibilities...drugs? Suicide? Pretty much every option except a heart attack, because that just hits too close to home. My grandpa had a heart attack at 58, and spent 8 months in the hospital trying to recover before he passed away. My dad is the oldest of his five sons, and is on blood pressure medication and probably would have had a heart attack by now if he hadn't retired when he did. The next oldest son had a mild heart attack just before Christmas (he's doing fine). I have been suffering from episodes of heart palpitations and weird tingling sensations off and on for three years. I was JUST ready to decide that maybe it IS anxiety and not my heart, then two family heart attacks in a row. Bleh.
I am barely prepared to handle my grandparents' deaths, much less the next generation. I can't even begin to fathom what it would be like to lose my dad. It's just...unthinkable. I didn't want to believe that another uncle had a heart attack because then it's a pattern, not just some awful thing that happened to my grandpa when I was 3 years old.
I know you're not supposed to have favorites, but Uncle Joe was mine. He lived in Atlanta, and it was always SO EXCITING when he came up for a visit. He was an artist, so he'd entertain us for hours and hours drawing funny little cartoons and telling us stories about the characters. He was so great with us kids, it really is a shame he never had his own. I remember my older brother and cousin and I sitting in the tree in my grandma's back yard, raptly listening to a horror story about a big worm. When Uncle Joe saw I was getting scared, he quickly switched up the story so the worm didn't eat people, he ate peanut butter. The rest of the story had us all practically falling out of the tree, we were laughing so hard. I'm really going to miss Uncle Joe and his crazy stories.
Hug your loved ones extra tight today - life is way too freaking short.