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Published July 4, 2012 by Sara

We made the trek out for my Uncle Stu’s funeral and wow. My cousin Brian was right, it’s better we plan to do some fun things instead of just coming for just the funeral.

On the way there, a few times, I really was ready to cry, being as I was finally coming to terms with his death and my loss.

We finally arrived at our temporary home, which was a nice hotel, excellent service, but if we ever book a hotel again, it will not be there. I was hoping to be closer to Ramsey, since that is where my cousin Brian lives and my Uncle’s funeral would be held. And somehow we ended up in Minneapolis. 

The funeral was arranged really nice. It was much better than I even anticipated. And was so happy there was a memorial board commerating my Uncle’s life. There weren’t many photos of him, but there were photos of him when he was younger and my Mom was right, he was quite the looker when he was younger. I thought he taste in men sometimes was a little out of my realm, but I 100% agree. I just feel bad he aged incredibly fast. Heck, the almost 40 years I have known him, he always had grey hair which turned to white these past 10 and he was always a burly man. 

During the service I finally had my cry. I was trying so hard to hold it in. I didn’t want to get my kids started. I know they were already upset, but to see their Mom cry on top of it, would just get them started. But I’ll be damned, the pastor asked if anyone would like to come up and share any memories of him. I just stalled, being as I knew if I got up there, I would not be able to compose myself. Then the pastor went on to speak about the type of person he was and how he was the type to give the shirt off your back. Which is so utterly true. And I just caved. Julia and Emily had started crying later in the service during one of the songs. 

I miss him. I really do miss him. He was basically the last part of my family I had that I was closest too. Which now I am building a relationship with his children, which I even question their genuity. I already caught Debbie in a lie. She is telling me she dropped Uncle Stu off at the Amtrak to come out for Vinnie’s service, but Brian and Sam both told me he drove himself out here. I am a little angry at myself for not catching up with him until the day of the funeral, but honestly, if I would have seen him, my whole world would have shattered.

I was there at Vinnie’s funeral and was looking for him and there was one man I thought was him, but he was too frail looking to be him. Only to find out later that was him, but I thought it was due to his lack of facial hair. While at Brian’s house, he showed me photos of his Dad one week before he passed and even looking straight at him, I would not recognize him, he had seriously lost that much weight. 

I literally got choked up looking at the photos and told Brian, I am glad I didn’t come out here for Memorial weekend. This would have literally shook me to my core. And I would have been literally devasted to the point that I truly do not think it would have been a good idea for me to drive home.

And this is where I come to peace with how this all played out. If I had seen my Uncle, if I would have known he was that sick, it would have eaten me up alive. Being as I lost my Mom and I beat myself up on not being able to bring her home to take care of her. I certainly wouldn’t be able to do that for my Uncle. But I am a still a little angry with Debbie for not calling me, being as I had called her and asked if he has cancer, she said No he didn’t and that she would be the first to know, being as her Dad would have told her. But he tried telling me first. And that is where I still feel a little guilty. He tried and I went on the word of his daughter and that if he did have cancer, she would call me. Why didn’t she? Maybe it was his choice, but either way, it’s water under the bridge. I’ll still think about it from time to time, but I am not dwelling on it. It’s done and over with and I can’t put all blame on her or my Uncle, I share part of this blame if not all. 

I think too, the reason it was easier for me to believe Debbie over my Uncle, is I was not ready to loose someone else to cancer. I didn’t want to believe it. Goodness, I had lost sleep for a week there till I finally called Debbie. Also at the time, he didn’t say he had it 100%, but they thought he did.

But see, on and off, after my Mom died and I am forgetting this, he kept saying they think he has cancer and then nothing, then he’d be on the kick again. And this was why this time, I just got upset with him, being as I thought he was getting convincing with the lying. 

BUT who knows, maybe this whole time, they thought he did. But why didn’t they find it? Is liver cancer that hard to find? I know he was going through the VA and I truly think they are a poop shoot. These men and women go through hell and back to serve our country and they get the shittest medical care in the world. While our politician’s are paid for well with excellent insurance and the best of everything.

I guess I am still working through my anger over all this and here I thought I was past this. 

So let’s move on, I had a really nice visit with my cousin Debbie and her family. Got to meet HER children and her grandchild. Which is so weird to meet this whole side of my family I never knew. She even invited us back for her daughter’s wedding in Dec. Which time off won’t be an issue since it right when I put my stores on vacation for Thanksgiving, but I am concerned about the weather. If it seems pretty mild, then oh yes. I would LOVE to be there!

I took the kids to Mall of America and we went to Nickelodeon Universe and went through the Mirror Maze, which this time didn’t seem as much fun for me this time, being as there was a lot of people in there. But the kids had a blast and that was the main thing.

I really wanted to eat at Bubba Gump’s and not one person in my family wanted to go. I mentioned this to my cousin Tony and he says, he’ll go with me next time I am in town. Hahaha! Well now that Julia knows it’s seafood, she wants to go too. It’s actually in between, seafood and burgers. And of course, we ate in the food court and when we did walk past Bubba Gump’s everyone was like ohhhh there’s Rainforest Cafe, and I was like oh well, too bad. No one EVEN wanted to look at a menu for Bubba’s, which if I HAD seen Rainforest Cafe, I would have said, hey let’s go THERE instead. Their loss not mine. Being as I will get to go to Bubba Gumps without them. (insert Nelson laugh here)

Then we saw my cousin Brian and had a really nice visit with him as well. He lives out in the boonies and gets all sort of creatures by his patio, I can not even say which birds we saw, but we did see a Groundhog sitting on his porch. LOL He has a bear that comes out and knocks over his bird feeder….lol

He was able to show me a photo of his Mom, which floored me. I could see so much similarities with his Mom and mine. They had petite features. I would love to see what she looked like when she was younger, but he didn’t have any.

Then on the way home, we stopped in St. Paul to see the Grumpy Old Men houses. I was more intrigued with Ariel’s house. But I didn’t even to think that Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon stood on that very street. I definitely plan to stop there if we go out in December and Gwen and I will dress up like them and have fun with it. Which I should have done this trip, but had too little time to do it in.

But we are now home and I am heading to bed. I have been coasting on less than 5 hours of sleep these past 2 nights and tomorrow is the 4th of July. I have some final things to get ready in anticipation. 

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