One of the hardest things for expats and transplants to other countries face, is the loss of a family member, back in their homeland.
I am experiencing such a loss this week, with the passing of my favorite uncle Len, who unexpectedly became poorly and passed from Pneumonia complications on Friday.
Uncle Len was always a positive influence in my life, I spent many a night with my three cousins and was always treated like one of his own.
He was a kind, gentle man, hard-working and dedicated to his family.
A storyteller and always had a smile on his face.
I shudder to think what a tremendous hole it will be leaving in the hearts of his three girls and my Auntie Maude his beloved wife of some sixty years.
The best I can do, is to remember him in my prayers, ask God to wrap his arms around his loved ones and keep them strong.
The most I can hope for, is that when our time on earth is through, we have been decent enough human beings, to all meet up again, swap our stories, and enjoy one huge family gathering .
Uncle Len will no doubt have his fishing pole.
I didn't get to say goodbye
Or thank you for the kindness shown throughout the years
For always treating me as 'one of your girls'
For allowing me to spend endless giggly nights in your home,
For making me toast and tea in the mornings.
For always making me feel welcome.
For making me laugh.
For mending my dollies.
For loving animals.
For loving my cousins with all your heart,
For dedicating your life to my Auntie Maude.
For giving me rides home from Liverpool on your Number 5 , green, Crosville Bus.
For being a true friend to my family.
For coming to my wedding.
For sending me Christmas cards each year,
For always being happy to see me, no matter how many years pass between visits.
For being a man I was proud to call my Uncle, and one I shall miss with a passion.
The First Sergeant planted one of the Dogwood Trees in remembrance of Uncle Len today.
The Dogwood is more than a tree......it is a representation of life.
A life well-lived.
Farewell Uncle Len, you were one of the good 'uns.