My Uncle Orest; My Godfather.
I just do not have many pictures. He passed away not too long after my first birthday. He was only thirty five years old. An occupational illness from what I understand. Certainly not fair. It must have been hard on her and the kids. I am not sure that she would appreciate her photo up here, but I wish I would take the time to write her. To thank her because I actually have memory from 1976.
I always felt a little shorted that my godfather was passed on growing up. That I didn’t have one and the others did. I simply began telling myself that he was above, looking over all. That he was looking after me. I realise now being older that that was a little selfish of me. To only recognise how I felt. It must have been hard on her. Her kids. Even my father, as Uncle Orest was his closest brother.
Dad used to always say how strong he was. He had these really strong hands. He could take a walnut and crush it with his bare hands my dad used to tell me. I used to look at my small hands and think of the walnuts that came out at Christmas. I cannot do that I would think. I even tried. I still try to this day when I see one. Walnuts are a tough nut to crack, but these are all farm boys and Uncle Orest worked some hard jobs.
I think if I had had any brains when I was younger, I would have wrote her. I would have visited her. I would of thanked her. Thank you for looking after me as a baby, because I do actually vaguely remember. I actually retain memory from such a young age. It all came flooding back when my cousin (in the very left of the photo) asked me if I remembered, and I swear I do. It’s all Sunshine and Lollipops for me. The memories.
There was a big family fight over this. Not that I would have known, or remembered, if I didn’t pick up the pieces of it here and there throughout the years. My Uncle John, the one I am named for, he wanted to be my Godfather. He insisted upon it. My father was adamant. It was to be Uncle Orest. A Man who was dying at the time. It’s taken me a long time to understand, but I was a Gift to a Dying Man. A Blessing beyond Words.
This picture I have dated as November 26th, 1976. He must have been very ill here, and he must have known that he was to pass on soon. He made it until just before Christmas, less than a month after this photo was taken.
Of course, judging by my outfit and size, this is more likely to be my Christening. My Baptism; February 1976. I wanted to visit the Church, but they tore it down while I was homeless. The timing of everything. I even missed my Junior High School reunion because of Court. My last chance to see it again before it too was torn down. Painful for me as I appreciate that kind of thing. Regardless, Mom would know the date.
Anyways, I guess I am all a bit mixed up posting this stuff here. I just… I am glad I gave him reason to see a future. I only wish I could go back and do it all over again. Embrace Life. Live Life to the absolute fullest without restraint. To be the best a person can be. To radiate. I do not have the words at the moment, but I believe that this is true for everyone. Why do we all have such a hard time with the bigger picture? With the opportunities that were present for all of us, why are we not more than we are?
I wish I could properly express those fleeting thoughts. It’s just that we all have potential, great potential, yet we all fall short for some reason or another. Not just myself, not just my siblings, cousins, relatives, friends, etc. – but every single person. Why are we not just beaming with life? Exuberant? Expressive? Encouraging? Energetic? Encompassing? I just.. I have no idea how I read, I just.. crave to do it all again and be so much more. I still feel like a five year old with my whole life ahead of me, but I am not. I am forty five years on.
I often look back and I see that I could have lit up the World a lot more than I have. I suppose that is what I want to go back in time and redo. I want to be that ray of light, that shining star, that ball of enlightenment that lifts all. If I could go back, I want to be so many things. All things possible. As that is what youth is: possibility / potential.
God’s Timing is Perfect they say.
This video was recommended by Youtube just now. Fitting. I do think of and remember my Uncle Orest and my Aunt Elaine. I always have. She looks absolutely beautiful to me in the photo above. Full of Love.