Warning....death and raw emotion involved. Those that personally know me and are involved may want to skip this next post. It is not my intention to upset you, only to try to get through this extremely difficult time as best and the only way I can.
Through the almost 5 years I've been blogging here there's been mention of Tom's brother, usually referred to as...my BIL or UB (Uncle Billy). He's been a part of this house for a lot of years. Some years he was a semi regular resident, staying in the library or on our couch. Other years, because of commitments to others he couldn't be here. For the last 2 years he's been living on our property and was a constant part of our lives. So much so that I almost wrote him up a bio in my Meet the Kids page in February, but I didn't think he'd appreciate it, he's a pretty private man. On Friday night, everything changed. I won't go into the how and no one knows why. The only thing that matters is that he's gone...forever.
I'm sitting here in hysterics trying to write this, trying to not wake anyone. I have to be strong for Tom. He has had to live through a nightmare that no one should have to experience. Friends and family have been great, even while trying to deal with their own grief. They've taken our kids in, kept them busy, helped them remember the good times. Tom's surrounded by his siblings, for that I am extremely thankful for.
Billy as people tend to say...danced to the beat of a different drummer. Many people didn't get him, but then that meant they didn't know him. I think if he was a kid in the school system nowadays he might be labeled on the "spectrum". But he wasn't. It was just how Billy was. He didn't hold to conventional lines of thought. Money, job and whatnot didn't matter to him. As long as he had enough to get by, it was all he needed or cared for. He was perfectly happy to be outside...digging in the garden or tinkering with an engine. I know he'd have loved to have had a wife and kids of his own. He'd have made a great dad. Instead he had all his nieces and nephews. In his own special way he was a father figure to my kids. Actually he had the pretty cozy end of that deal, being able to talk with them and have fun with them...without having to deal out discipline. lol When they were outside, they were "hanging with Uncle Billy". On hot summer days they'd sit out there with him, drinking his sodas, listening to his stories. Him explaining how things worked or what things meant. Being silly, making up or teaching them goofy songs (like Hit me with your best snot!), making up odd games for them to play together. He had a quick wit and was always ready to share it. :o) He was Tom's bestfriend. There was hardly a day that they didn't have coffee together or a beer. Sitting out back or in Billy's trailer, talking all day long and/or well into the night. It could even get to the point that I would get jealous.
But now it's gone. After my initial shock of what was happening Friday night passed, the anger came on. I was SO mad at him! How could he! How could he put Tommy though a night no one should ever have to go through. How could he ruin a 9yo little girl's birthday party, put a black mark on it...for the rest of her life. How could he do this to my kids! To make them have to deal with this, be in the middle of it. I think the anger is what got me through the night. Otherwise I'd have been a hysterical mess. Now though, the anger is subsiding to a dull roar in the back of my head. True to form, I've held up for the parts I needed to. And now I'm falling apart. I'll fall apart for a bit, get through it and then get back to functioning. The problem is, I have to do it before daylight is here and everyone is up. I can't let Tom see me like this. It'd be too much for him.
I keep finding myself thinking Billy's going to come through the back door for his morning coffee. Or his midday one, or his midafternoon one or.... This morning before I got on here I thought...oh Billy probably has the Sunday morning paper. Then I realized, no he doesn't. You have to go out and get it yourself. And I fell apart...it's a NEWSPAPER for crying out loud! Although he didn't live IN the house, he was very much a part OF the house. I can't go into the kitchen without looking to see if Billy's heading up to the house. The light is on in his trailer. Tom refuses to turn it off.
It throws me for a loop each time I pass by the back kitchen door. For a split second I think...He's here, it wasn't real, it was all a bad dream. Then reality hits and my heart sinks again.
Tom and I were sitting here last night by ourselves. I said to him...now don't take this wrong but Billy messed up my backup plan and I'm feeling pretty vulnerable now. Tom asked me what I meant. I admitted to him that I had a comfort knowing that Billy was here. That if anything happened to either Tommy or I, that the other would be sure to be taken care of. That Billy would be here to step in, help parent the kids, do stuff around the house, and whatnot. Tom said he understood what I meant because he'd had the same thought. People looked at the situation here and didn't understand it. What they didn't understand is that, what little we were giving to Billy, he was giving back to us tenfold. There's a hole in our house and And right now it's pretty huge. I know over time it will diminish in size but it will never go away. We'll miss you Billy...more then you will ever know.