Twelve years ago, after years of drug and Alcohol abuse I fell down completely. Destroyed the life I had and went to prison. I am not the sort of man who believes people should get a pat on the wrist and then move on. I didn't always believe that. But I went and I did my time because I was guilty, and I worked at understanding myself and then, a few years ago I came home.
This is not a book about me, or my time in prison though, it is a book about the man who made a difference in my life. I don't mean the minimal difference that some people make. Like a token so they can say they helped or maybe feel better about themselves or maybe sooth their conscious and hopefully bribe Jesus so he will not forget them on the judgment day. I mean a man who was actually good. Inside where it counts.
He was not a perfect man. I wouldn't want you to think that, because as long as I knew him he never thought of himself that way. I am almost 56, I have known him all of my life. That is a very long time for a man to be consistently good.
During that time he worked his job. Paid his bills. Lost a wife. Became a father to dozens of the children in my family who did not have a father figure or needed help in that area. And, even more. Outside of the blood family. It didn't matter to him at all. What mattered was the need.
While he did all those good things I became a drug addict. Wound up on the streets. Refused his love or anyone else who tried to give me love. During that time on the streets I nearly died. I was nearly killed a time or two as well. One day he came and got me. I broke down, called him, and he came.
I would love to say that that straightened me out and I was okay, but it didn't. I was still an addict and a drunk. I had years to go before I crashed hard enough to wake me up.
In prison, a few years back, he wrote and told me he had cancer. He was afraid he might not be there when I came home. I was in a prison full of tough men. Men considered me a tough man. But I broke down and cried. I prayed about it once I could think straight. I just wanted to come home have some time with him before he passed. Please, God.
My uncle beat that cancer. Prostate Cancer. And God sent me home. I came home last year. He had beaten the Cancer. He just needed help. Company. Love. Perfect for me. I needed someone to love. I needed to help.
August and September where good months for us. In October things took a different turn. In early October he fell and although he seemed fine at first he began having a great deal of pain. The Cancer had come back. It had spread through his entire body. Into his bones. It was terminal. That is the story I wanted to tell you. It is a deeply personal story. But if you read it and then tell someone how you really feel about them? Or it changes the way you look at the world? It was worth sharing.
Everything that follows happened and was written in real time. Misspellings and everything else. I set up a website for family so we could all share and be there with him everyday. So he could wake up, read the page and know that people loved him...