It's been about 6 months since I'd learned my uncle Erin had passed away. I thought I would never get over this. As soon as I heard, I couldn't believe it. And once it sunk in, I cried every night before I went to sleep for months.
Erin was my uncle. He was 11 years older than I was and he was my everything. I was raised by my grandparents and Erin was like my sibling when I was little, and like my parent later on.
My grandparents were alcoholics. They were functioning, can-hold-down-a-job alcoholics, but emotionally abusive all the same. Erin built me up as they tore me down. I can never repay him for what he has been in my life. When my grandparents were not in attendance to something special I was doing, whether it was the talent show or high school graduation, he was there and always supportive. When they said unkind words, he was there to scream in my defense, take me out and talk me up. I know he is the sole reason I became a normal person and am able to raise a family.
Erin was 36 when he passed and in another state. He missed us terribly and was going to visit family when he died. I miss him terribly and wish he could have met my children. He would have loved them so much.
Anyway, here's to you Erin and my many thanks for all that you did for me. I can only hope to help someone else a fraction of the amount that you helped me.