Reflections on a Loss...

You know that saying “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone?” Well, I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately…

On Wednesday, February 4, my mom and my sister both called me after school. I knew immediately that something must be going on if both of them were calling back to back. In true “Jennifer” fashion, my cell phone was out of battery power, so I had to wait until I got in my car to call them back (so I could plug in my phone). Lindsay was the first person I got a hold of…she tells me, “I have some really bad news…” Of course, whenever you hear something like that, your mind starts racing. I’ve had these type of phone calls before…”Your dad’s in the emergency room with chest pains (aka two close proximity heart attacks)”…”Just wanted to let you know your Grandaddy’s in the hospital (aka he has a bleeding ulcer and will need multiple blood transfusions)”…”Your Grandma is going to be in the hospital for a while (aka she has a rare heart virus called endocarditis)”…None of these “bad” conversations began with the words “I have some bad news…” so, obviously, I’m freaking out. Then my sister asked me what I was doing. I told her I was in the car on my way home and she asked me if I wanted to call her back when I got home…To this I promptly said “Um…no…You need to tell me whatever it is now.” Lindsay went on to tell me that my uncle was found dead in his apartment…You could have knocked me over with a feather…to say I was shocked would be an understatement. I mean, he’s my uncle Mark. He’s not even that old (47)…how could he be dead…

Fast forward a few days…due to somewhat strange circumstances given his time of death and when he was actually found, it was difficult to get his body ready for burial…more than a week after his death, we had his funeral…definitely one of the saddest days I’ve experienced…just thinking about his girls and how they’re going to miss out on some of their best daddy years just made me really sad for them…not to mention his boys who are missing out on a really great pal…

Well, he was placed in his grave today, February 13, the day before Valentine’s Day. We still don’t really know what happened…it looks like we never will…I guess mysteries still do exist…

Now to my original quote at the start of this blog, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” Given this abrupt end to the life of my uncle Mark, I have had the occasion over the past few days to remember so much about him—things that I haven’t really thought about for a long time. You see, my aunt Faith (his wife and my mom’s younger sister) started dating Mark when I was around five or six years old…this means that I’ve basically had Mark in my life for as long as I can remember. Obviously we spent all of the holidays together, but we did so much more too. As a younger child, I used to always spend a week in Virginia with my mom’s parents. Whenever I was there, I knew I’d really be spending most of my time with Mark and Faith. I thought they were so cool. When they were just dating, my aunt and I would go visit Mark at work and take him lunch. I was the flower girl in their wedding when I was in second grade (and in true younger Jennifer fashion, I totally acted like a brat when it came to time take the pictures…at least I made it through the ceremony before acting out…) After they got married, we’d hang out at their house and play Nintendo after my grandparents went to bed. We really liked playing Mario, Rad Racer, and for some reason Jack Nicklaus golf. When I got a little older, we would always head to an amusement park when I was visiting. We normally went to King’s Dominion because it was so close to my grandparent’s house, but I remember one time we went to Busch Gardens. That was such an awesome trip. I think our car ride there was half the fun. Mark had a really great time doing impressions of all the people on the road that were from Ohio…he did a great Ohio accent…I’ve wanted to go back ever since, but never have. Mark would always ride whatever ride I wanted to…I’m not quite sure if he was just being nice, or if he was finally glad to have someone to ride rides with. We loved to play horse and football in the yard. Mark always had a way of making me feel like I was really great at football, even though I was just a girl…He had this awesome dog name P.D. (short for Puppy Dog…you may see now where I got the creative name for my cat…Kitty…). P.D. would always play football with us too…it was so fun. We’d play homerun derby sometimes and P.D. was definitely a great asset because he’d always go fetch the ball. I remember that Mark used to let me drive his truck…even though I was only in the fifth grade...I knew every time I went to my grandparent’s house I would be able to have a couple of driving lessons too. The first time he ever let me drive on the road was when I was 13…It didn’t really go so well, I remember getting pretty close the yellow line and then getting really scared. We had to pull over and switch places because I got so freaked out. We would take random trips to the dump from time to time. I think I mainly went because I knew we'd stop and get ice cream on the way home. He saved my "life" at my Aunt Ollie's funeral...it's a long story...He was probably the only person I’d ever let call me Jenni-poo. He was the first person to ever sing this random song that goes something like “Jennifer….Juniper….”…I’ve never actually heard the song before and I don’t think I want to now…It might erase his voice singing it. Unfortunately, once I started to get older, things seemed to change a little…we definitely weren’t as close as we used to be, but it was always really good to see him and catch up whenever we had the chance. I guess it’s true…”You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone…”

Rest in peace Mark…you will be missed…

~Blevins - out...

2 comments:

Lindsay Ray said...
April 28, 2009 at 12:21 PM

I feel like I should work on my telling bad news skills, thankfully I haven't had much practice, but I think that it is probably a life skill I should acquire, not that I ever want to have to use it...

Davis said...
July 8, 2009 at 8:25 AM

Jennifer, I just stumbled upon this. Thank you so much for your kind words.

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