It feels as if it were just yesterday, shoot as if it were only a few moments ago when I received the news you were gone. You see what happens in war, far too often, is it separates families from being close, from watching each other grow.
You were my uncle in England, a world far away, by which we were, divided by a Pond,; I was but a lad wishing to one day navigate the distance. I remember the first time we met here in the States, it seemed as if though I only stayed for a moment because "life" was calling me to do something else, follow some other path that afternoon; nonetheless, before I scurried off, you said, "Make sure to come and visit your uncle." Who knew that you would be the key to the amazing journey which I still find myself on, today.
It was September 10th, 2010 and I was on my way to read poetry at the grand opening of my buddy's bookstore when I was informed that my house was broken into and all of my goods were plundered. I drove home with a knot in my stomach, unsure of what I was soon about to face; everything that I had worked so hard for over the years was gone in an instant, actually only $24,702 worth of items were taken on this day. As I sat on my curb, trying not to cry, I thought of escaping, running away to a place so far away that no one could hurt me. I had to leave, I needed to go somwhere and then I remembered my dearest uncle in England.
After all of the dust had settled and insurance had given me back a portion of what I lost (not much), I made the call and asked if you would take me in for a bit "Nephew, it's only going to be the two of us because everyone has left me for bit" you stated. I didn't blink in my response and in the purchasing of a plane ticket to London.
For two weeks I enjoyed your company, your food, and your country, you shared stories of Liberia, stories of England but more imporatantly, you shared your time with me. I came home refreshed and I told myself that I would no longer collect stuff, instead I would save for trips abroad, trips which no one could steal from me. I promised that I would bring my dad on my next trip to visit you and like clockwork we came to celebrate the marriage of your eldest (my cousin Grace). Perhaps the highlight(s) of the entire trip were watching you and dad hang out like to kids. It was amazing to see the bond, the friendship, the brotherhood.
Fast forward six months I stood in a church listening to people speak of your life, I watched as your children sang, I stood behind my aunt as she slowly rocked back and forth, I wathced her take to the alter and provide a speech she never thought she would have to provide so early in life... I listened as church filled with people who love you, sang in praise about the life you lived.
I sit here tonight, still, thinking that you were taken far too soon.