Wow. What a weekend!
A few weeks ago my favorite uncle died. This was a very sad event that I had secretly been expecting for quite some time.
I will start out by saying that he has always been my favorite uncle. He was part indian with the dark reddish skin, black hair and high cheekbones and an alcoholic and had been as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are of him staying with us on weekends when I was a small child, my aunt would drop him off at our house with a fifth of Jack and some Coke on their way in from the mountains. He would sit in the kitchen and tell stories while empting out his pockets of change to me. I would fall asleep listening to his laughter, hugging my piggy bank that was by then full.
He was a redneck through and through. I will forever remember him wearing his cut-off jean shorts with his white tee shirt flung over one shoulder and no shoes on and a rolled up bandanna wrapped around his head.
In my teenage years he embarrassed me terribly. Everytime I would introduce a new boyfriend to the family he would always end up giving them the drunken speach about what a "Classic" he was and invite the new guy to have a drink and smoke a little "mary jane" with him. I would be extremely embarrassed and stomp out of the house with my new guy trailing behind.
The life long party eventually took it's toll. Last fall he was told he had cancer. My aunt and uncle decided it was time to move back to Clarksburg from Durbin to live closer to our family and his doctors. He fianlly gave up the fight at the end of June. He asked to be creamated and his ashes burried beside a certain rock on a mountain where he liked to bear hunt in the mountains.
Saturday, after a 4 hour drive and a two mile hike, Ainsley and I and 25 other family and friends travelled to Durbin, WV and visited his rock on the side of the mountain. What a view! I can see now why he loved that special place. The service was a simple prayer and a few stories relived by family members remembering his generousity and never ending smile. One of the trademark bandannas was tied around a standing rock after his ashes were poured into a hole in the bottom of the rock.
Although this was a very sad occassion, there was more laughter than there were tears. Every person who was there had been influenced by him in some way. There were no fancy flowers, nice clothes or church organs playing during this funeral. Just some hand picked daisies, muddy shoes and a shot of whiskey or two. It was very fitting and he would have liked it just fine.
I will miss you forever Uncle Warren, you certainly were a "classic"!