Dear Uncle John,
From a very little girl I looked to you for guidance and you were the male role model in my life for so many years. You believed in family and you would do whatever it entailed to protect and look out for your family. I didn’t learn until I was a teenager you weren’t the oldest, I mean you took care of everybody as if you were. You grew up knowing what your responsibilities were and you took them seriously.
You were always my favorite uncle because of your infectious laugh and strong will. Do you remember shooting that guy in the butt because he didn’t move fast enough in front of your van when you told him to hurry up? Or, when I would have a guy over and you would walk in to speak and your gun would somehow fall out of your pocket? I laugh about it now, but you scared quite a few guys away.
I knew you weren’t perfect and I was aware of it. Yet, it hurt me to my core when you and I started arguing over my Aunt’s money. I hated coming home knowing each day would a fight. I hated knowing you had taken money out of her account and less than 24 hours after she was released from the hospital you had her in the bank exposing her to germs. I disliked the arguing all the time about money. You were my uncle, my mother’s brother, but I started looking at you different. You made my life more stressful than it had to be during the time I was assisting in my aunt’s care and trying to help you as well. I cried too many days to count. And what you didn’t know was every time you took money from her account I had to pay for food and medicine out of my pocket and it was during this time I was trying to pay down credit card bills and pay extra to my student loan in order to prepare me for the day everything would fall on me. I wasn’t able to do it because what you thought was a small sum of money no one would notice affected the budget she had to live out of as well as my budget.
The stress caused me to break out in hives all over my body and that was the strangest thing to ever happen to me. Then one day we had our last argument and I told you, “This will be the last time I will argue with you about my aunt’s money. You taught me to never allow a man to use me and treat me any kind of way, but you are doing this to your own wife. And because she is sick you think it is okay to take from her. I will not discuss money with you again. And I mean it.” That was the end of October and you died in November.
We had another month together and we didn’t argue again about money. In fact, things were at their most peaceful. I am so thankful that we had a chuckle the night before you died as I helped you find something you were looking for. You weren’t perfect, but for the longest you were my hero. Miss you Uncle John and tell my mama hi!