My dad's brother passed away, and he was a favorite uncle to all of us in the family, nieces and nephews, great nieces and great nephews, as well. If I had to describe him it would be, "My Big Gay Uncle!" and I mean that with the utmost respect and love. He was one of those flamboyant gay men, like Jack from Will and Grace, only a lot older. I could perfectly describe him as Paul Lynde with a Richard Simmons laugh. What is really funny is that I NEVER realized he was gay until I started dating Mr. G and he mentioned it. I'm like, "He's not gay!" Then an instant later, I'm like, "OMG. He IS gay! How could I not have noticed?!" No wonder he never wanted to date my mother's sister, no matter how many times I suggested it to him.
One of my funniest memories of realizing he was gay was when I asked my mother about it. Now my mother has a problem with, well, you know, the truth, so she said in her ultra conservative "don't let the neighbors hear you talking about this" tone, "We don't KNOW if he's gay for certain. Nobody knows." Yeah, nobody except for his many, many boyfriends.
But he loved the our kids and treated them very well. When Female Offspring #1 went to grade school her bus would pass by his house and every morning he would be out on the porch to wave at her.
And then he'd call me and tell me about it.
"I saw Female Offspring #1 on the bus. She waved and I waved."
My uncle was laid out yesterday and I nearly lost it at the funeral home during the Lion's Club service. They had like a 15 minute ceremony and presented the family with different colored roses to represent service and loyalty, etc. Well the dude in charge was reading everything right off a paper and he said, "We'd now like to present these roses to Mr. ****'s wife and family." Good luck there, pal. You'll be waiting a long time to give anything to my uncle's "wife."
And now, let me leave you with the three things I hate hearing the most at the funeral home:
1. He looks so good.
(Yeah except for that dead thing he's got going on.)
2. It's for the best.
(And yet it never feels that way.)
3. He looks like he's sleeping.
(Except he's not breathing. Thaaaaat kinda makes the difference.)