I lost my uncle last week. On Tuesday, August 4th, to be exact.
I woke up that morning to a gig that turned out to be a scam of sorts.
My friend informed me of her relationship being over.
There was an explosion in Beirut, Lebanon.
I assumed it was another shitty Tuesday of 2020... until my younger brother called me, seriously alarmed.
“Call mom, she’s crying, she won’t stop crying!”
I tried calming him down, it was my first attempt at a nap that day.
“Call mom, it’s uncle, she’s crying too much, he’s in surgery!”
I called my mom, I didn’t meet the usual “yehello, I am watching my Zee world!”
I was met with wailing, I was met with my mom trembling, talking to herself as I heard footsteps...Her footsteps.
She said she was shivering, she needed air, she was cold, and then the window slid open.
I tried to put on my macho voice. I failed miserably. It’s been a long time since I heard my mom break this way.
I tried my best to keep it together. “What’s going on?” I asked, frightened of the answer to come.
“He’s been in surgery for over 4 hours. He’s in a coma. He just wanted a soda. I don’t know why!”
Yes, My uncle wanted his favorite soda. Bitter Lemon or as popularly known, Schweppes.
My uncle had been on dialysis all year, kidney issues. The doctors gave the constant runaround of a scar to several scars to dialysis for detoxing. Apparently, he was sent home and was to return the next day for another session.
He liked his car clean, and he liked his bitter lemon.
On Tuesday, he took his car to the carwash, bought his bitter lemon, and strolled over to his wife’s shop, to sit and drink his soda with her. A few sips in and the choking started, then the coughing, vomiting, shortness of breath, and finally, he collapsed.
He went into a coma.
And stayed in the coma through surgery, got transferred to a different hospital, resuscitation started, he left us.
My uncle died on Tuesday.
We had a family meeting on the phone. 4 hours of tears, words, stillness, silence, laughter, prayer, and then arrangements.
I haven’t seen my uncle in 14 years. The price of distance. I will never see him again...well, perhaps in the afterlife.
He was our superman, seriously, he was the macho man in the family.
Need a car push? Call Uncle. Need to put the bullies in place? Call Uncle. Need some macho uncle advice, call Uncle.
He was the craziest man I have ever met. He can hustle, he can do anything and everything, He drank, He smoked, He loved women, He loved family, but most of all, He had a big heart.
He wasn’t perfect, oh no, he was far from it.
But He knew how to get things done, How to be happy no matter the situation or circumstance, and he always, ALWAYS, accepted responsibility for his actions. He knew how to truly apologize.
He was perfect in the most imperfect way and this is why we all adored our superman.
He lectured me occasionally, I was a stubborn brat. He also helped me with placing my bucket on my head, carrying my additional jerrycans, mixing cement, pulling on the generator cord, showing me all the delicious food spots, putting my bullies in place just by showing up, and teaching me about manners and respect.
He was my superman. Our superman.
He loved his car, He loved his soda, and he loved his family. He got to do all the things he loved one last time before leaving.
My Uncle died on Tuesday, August 4th, 2020.
He is now with my Iye, both resting in the bosom of the lord.
No matter your religion or belief, please say a little prayer for our superman. And if you have any bitter lemon close by, please have a drink with us in harmony, as we celebrate his passing on August 14th, 2020.