Part 23 – The Rough And The Smooth!

Its been a tough week. Not just work and my current project going live or Jamie being sent home from school again. Again. Thats the third time this year and I’ve to arrange a meeting with the head teacher.

But my favourite uncle Bill died on Monday. He was my only uncle but he was a big kind man and he would have been my favourite regardless.

He was a good age 77 and It was a long illness, so hardly unexpected.

He wasn’t really my uncle, not by blood, but he’d been with my aunt Helen since I was a kid and he was part of the family. A kind generous man and a good dad to Helen’s kids Jill and Lucie.

It’s completely different things to be a dad and a father. Ideally they are the same person but any idiot with a hard on can be a father, it takes a lot of time and some extremely hard work to be a real dad. Particularly if you’re not the father.

Like most families back then in the late 60 and early 70s. We lived close to each, we more or less lived in each others houses and us kids grew up together, played together and started dating together.

Of course back then it wasn’t called dating it was “going out” “seeing someone” or worse, that cringe inducing phrase that mum always used ‘winching’!!

5 good Highers and 4 years at Glasgow university, a first class honours and she’s still asks if I am winching!

When her pals ask about me even now. “Aye she’s been winching somebody fur a while noo, he’s met the boys and everything.”

Aren’t mums totally embarrassing?

Even now she has a habit of being too personal. You know those cutting comments about where you’ve been. How that dress is too short or showing too much cleavage.

She also thinks she’s helping with the occasional tidying up. But I know it’s just her nose bothering her and she likes to look in my drawers every now and then. Have a wee rummage at my paperwork, read cards and payslips or look in my underwear drawer.

It serves her right when she opened the bottom drawer in my beside cabinet. She nearly spat out her teeth then asking me “Why I needed a vibrator?”

“For gods sake mum if you must know its because I miss having sex!”

Cue her face scarlet and her blushes and fluster made all the nagging about her occasionally doing my laundry completely worthwhile.

That’s mums for you.

She also forgets that she saw a few guys after dad died. Not right away of course and I can only ever remember there being 2 other men in her life.

But what I do remember very clearly are the days when i would come back from school and the chest of drawers would be mysteriously behind the bedroom door and there was a lot of scuffling and low whispers going on inside.

Or those nights when my sister and I would l be packed off to auntie Helen’s with my cousins Jill and Lucie

Thinking about it, that’s when Helen met Bill, obviously those tricky sisters were covering each others backs at the time.

It’s funny what you see as a kid but don’t understand then it all falls into place years later. .

Poor Bill was a rock for Helen. Always there for her and faded away in the end. She and the girls will miss him so much.

My problem is that the funeral and the cremation are the same ones that I used for my husband Andy two years ago and I’m not sure if I can go back there.

I really need to go for Bill and the family but I know that I’ll not just be upset for Bill.

Funerals always do that to me. They bring out strange emotions and you remember your own loved ones and you shed a tear even if you’re not that close to the deceased.

At least I won’t be going on my own.

We were out for dinner last night, my boys and his daughter. Nothing fancy just the local Chinese buffet.

He’d known that Bill had been ill for the past year and that the end was imminent. I’d told him on the phone earlier this week that Bill had passed away and I’d explained about the service being in the same place.

He went quiet for a moment and told me that he was sorry to hear about Bill and that he’d be there if I wanted him too.

Last night while the kids were up filling up with desserts. He took my hand and told me that he’d definitely be there. I could have cried with relief as I know it will affect me and bring back memories I’ve tried to subdue.

I told him that it can’t be that easy for him.

He said that he’d be there to hold my hand and that he’s happy to take the rough with the smooth.

It’s all part if the deal. He said.

With a tear in my eye, I leaned towards him and whispered that I loved him so much.

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