Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Don't Say I'll Do It Tomorrow

                Two weeks ago, I lost my uncle unexpectedly. This was obviously a huge shock, because he didn’t have anything wrong with him. He had asthma, but it was under control. It’s things like this that cause me to take a step back, and reorganize my priorities. I LOVED my uncle. Now a lot of people just think that’s “Oh yeah I love my uncle too.” But no. My uncle was like a second father to me and siblings.  He didn’t have any children of his own, and it was just he and my mom, and so I think after my grandparents died, they really realized that they were all they had in this world at that point, and that only caused our bond with him to become even stronger. I will always keep on my phone the texts from him when I was in the hospital. Now I remember when he would text me in the hospital EVERY SINGLE DAY. And yes at that point I will admit, I thought it was annoying, “Why couldn’t he just call my mom and ask” I thought, because for a while, I was in no condition to talk to anyone. But now, I consider those texts a treasure, which I will never get again, literally.
                My uncle led a pretty spectacular life. He was a state’s attorney for a long time in California. He was also a playwright, a musician, and a singer. His play the Quiet Man Tales, was a hit in Chicago, got great reviews, and then he brought it to New York and even to Ireland! He met Maureen O’Hara, and she blessed his play. No one disliked my uncle, now I may be a little biased, but how could you? Unless you were talking about politics lol. We had such a special bond. I told my mom right after I had heard he died, the thing I will miss THE MOST was sharing my birthday weekend with him. That’s how we have been celebrating my birthday every year for the past 25 years. With my dad and Uncle Frank and me, in a joint party.  And I’m absolutely heartbroken that we will never have that again.
                My uncle had a unique bond with all of his nieces and nephews. He had this unique gift; when he was with you he made you seem like you were the only person in the entire world that mattered to him. It is one of the amazing traits Uncle Frank had that I will desperately miss. Everyone was saying at the funeral, how he was so lucky to have a family that loved him so much, but it was us that were lucky to have him.  There are too many wonderful qualities about him that I will miss, but if I had to come up with a top 5 list, it would be:  His humor for sure, his relatability, his compassion, his gentleness, and his brilliance. He could take an idea and run with it. That’s how the Quiet Man Tales started. He found a book, realized its significance and ran with it. He had amazing ideas and he knew how to turn those ideas into a reality for himself.  
                At the party afterwards, at Trattoria DOC(Come on, we had to showcase the Italian side somehow) I was standing by my dad, who was standing by the bar, talking to the owner of the restaurant mom, who happened to be one of my mom’s oldest friends, they’ve known each other virtually since my mom was born. I was standing next to him, but then I decided to go talk to one of my uncle’s friends. I started walking towards the tables. And then for some reason I stopped, I don’t remember why, maybe it was because there was so many people, it wasn’t easy to move around, but I looked towards the window, and I saw my uncle. He was talking to two people that I couldn’t see, there were two of them. But what really freaked me out more than the fact that I could see him, came a few days later.  After I told my mom she had asked me what was he wearing, and I told her. And then later cleaning out his apartment, she found those pieces of clothing. He didn’t look at me, he was just standing there talking to two really tall people, and drinking “something brown”, as he called it. It was literally just a split second, I turned my face that way, saw him, wasn't expecting it and so I turned my face back right away, tried to quickly contemplate what I just saw, then I looked back for him, and three other men were standing there. I told my mom later sort of doubting what I had just seen, and she said I came up to her white as a ghost. And then when she told me later on that she found the exact clothes he was wearing, I was convinced and couldn't have been more thankful.
                My uncle was the greatest man ever! He was a States Attorney for many years, and he was a playwright and his play The Quiet Man Tales debuted in Chicago, then went to New York, then it even went to Ireland, had accolades by Maureen O’Hara, and became quite popular over there. He had another play in the works, and my mom is going to try her best to get that produced in his memory. He had finished the final draft, and we found it while cleaning out his apartment. He was always the first one to text me when I was in the hospital, EVERY DAY to see how I was doing, and he always prayed for me, and apparently as I learned the other day, talked to his neighbors about me lol. But the thing that touched me the most when we were cleaning out his apartment was I had found a one page paper that I had written in the third grade. It was entitled Francis J. Mahon Jr.  A Dream Come True. It was about my uncle, and how he had wanted to become a writer since he was about 4 years old. And how he had made that dream come true for himself. And while I was reading that paper, I was remembering what the assignment was for. It was supposed to be a paper about our hero. And he definitely was high on the list. But what touched me the most was the fact that he kept it all these years. And since I’m absolutely positive he’s still hanging around, I just want to tell him, “I Love you so much Uncle Frank! You are the best uncle ever! I will miss celebrating my birthday with you more than words could ever express. But I know you will always be watching over me. Xoxo Tape Girl

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