Friday, May 08, 2015

RIP Uncle

This is going to be one of the most difficult things for me to write.  However, I am very open to my readers, so here we go.  My Uncle, who I was extremely close to, passed away last Friday. As I get older, the list of people I know is starting to thin out and it is depressing.  
His health was declining, but we weren’t sure how much until Friday.  He had been in the hospital for over a week and a half.  And, I visited him throughout those two weeks.  I even checked on him when he was sleeping.  I’d enter and not disturb him.  I visited him on Monday of that week.  I planned to visit him on Thursday, but I got into a deep depression and didn’t want to get up and see the outside world.  I now regret that because Monday would be the last time I’d see him. 
I got the news that he took a turn for the worst and was in surgery.  I knew it was bad, but even I hoped he’d pull through.  He had problems before and got better.
I pulled into the hospital parking lot and checked my phone.   I had a text from a friend of the family telling me that my Uncle had passed away.  I sighed and shook my head.  I knew it was a possibility, but it was still heart wrenching.  For my entire life, he was a positive influence, something I was lacking growing up because of my troubled history with my father. 
I went up to the room, took a breath, and entered.  The lights were dim.  He was motionless, his eyes closed as if he was sleep on the bed.  The hospital sheets rested just below his neck. His closest friends and his sister, my mother, surrounded him in chairs.  There was an air of stillness and sadness in the room that I kind of broke when I entered.  They all turned and greeted me.  I tried to keep a straight face, but sorrow grew inside. 
The guy I grew rather close to these past years was gone. 
Hebert was a musical guy that was into the arts and LOVED to watch movies.  Where I have a love/hate relationship with the movies, he adored them.  Even when his health declined he went to see movies.  I’d like to think I got my love of movies partly from him. 
He was also a singer/performer for the Stephen Foster Story.  I sort of got into music because of him.  He performed in the show for nearly 4o years.  I never watched his show, because he didn’t want me there because he wanted to perform without that pressure.  And, I respect that.  (I don’t share this blog with most of my family because it is separate from them.)
He was a professional singer and teacher.  He loved singing and I’d remember hearing him hum or bellow out a few notes to a show tune.  He was an amazing guy and I never realized how much I respected and looked up to him until now.  I can’t say that for most people because I only trust a handful of people. People are asking me how I am handling it due to how close we were.
As his health declined, I made it a point to visit him as much as I could.  I spent more time talking to him about music and a lot of time about movies.  All the stuff you read on this blog about movies are the things I’d talk about with him.  I tried my best to keep his spirits up.  I’d go on a rant about a cliché or shitty movie just to get a laugh out of him.  And, most people know my rants are very humorous and epic.
I knew his health was getting bad, but not to the degree that it killed him.  Like me, he was a private man when it came to these things.  I worried and stressed about it, but respected his wishes to keep it private. 
He would worry about me when I'd fall into a deep depression and would ask people to look into my well being. He was also proud of me. The last thing he bragged about was me riding my bike to a nurse on that Monday. He also loved that I retained much of my musical knowledge, and he marveled at the amount of pop culture and trivia I knew. He would ask me if I would get another dog and bragged about how much I loved animals.
I never saw him perform, due to his wishes, but I did some digging and came across his performance in the show a few years ago.  I’ll share it with you. 
And, I also wanted to share his favorite movie score moment. It was Can You Read My Mind in the Superman score.


MC said...

I'm so sorry :(

Semaj said...

thanks for the support. I know you're going through some major things too, so you understand. This has been a shitty year for me.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear this. I remember how proud you were of him. Honestly, it's even sad how many times I've had to correct people who have told me that black people admire the wrong people and I've had to say, "My friend James almost only has pride in his uncle, who is an amazing person. That community is really lucky to have them."

Anyway, I know one of the best shows that me and Freya have been to was the Stephen Foster Story about two years ago (I guess your uncle would have been working then?) But even if he wasn't, I am so glad you had such a positive influence in your life. Even when I look at my influences, few of them have any blood relation to me. You were truly blessed. I understand you are missing a major influential person in your life. And I am saddened just hearing that.

Feel free to contact me if you need to. I offer my condolences .

- Nick

Semaj said...

He retired at that point in the cycle. He loved preforming there, but his health kept him from doing it more.

I met the stage director and some of the performers at the service. She had some good things to say about him and I wish I had time to talk to her, but I couldn't.

The problem in the black comminity is there isn't any influences at all positive or negative and that where you get people looting and destroying their own hood.

Anyway, thanks for the kind words Nick

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