My great-uncle and godfather, Danny, passed away today. He was not yet 60.
I hadn't seen him in the last decade, but my memories of him stand out. He had a strong jaw, sparkly eyes and a wry grin. He was quick to tease. He cracked jokes almost constantly. He bought me screwdrivers at my great-aunt's wedding (more orange juice than vodka, now that I remember it), and he showed me how to find the North Star one night at a family reunion by following the two stars of the Big Dipper. I still look for it whenever I spot the dipper.
Part of me is screaming, GO TO THE FUNERAL! Although I am no longer religious, he was my godfather, and that counts as something to me still. He was my favourite great-uncle, and by far one of the funniest. In a family like mine, it's hard to stand out with so many people. I have 18 first cousins, and my mom has well over 50 firsts on just one side. But stand out Danny did.
If anything good can be said of this, he was taken while still young, before being sapped of strength and wit and humour. He was taken after he'd raised his children, and when he'd seen his grandkids, and when they have formed lasting memories of him.
I just feel so awful for my aunt, and so sad that I cannot go to say goodbye due to my surgery. For one long moment, I considered cancelling it, but I can't. I just can't keep waiting for it, and goodness knows how long it would take for me to get an appointment. Probably three months. So I will think of Danny, and send positive thoughts to my aunt. I will look for the North Star every time I see the Big Dipper, and I will remember him.