It was about eight years ago when I lost my great uncle Basyl. I was just seven years old. I really didn’t understand much about the whole life and death thing but I knew one thing and that was that I was never going to see my Uncle Basyl again. I went to school at Saint Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic School, till I was in fifth grade. My grandfather (Gigi) would pick me up after school and take my over to my Uncle Basyl’s house. As I look back it seems as though my Gigi like to make a game of the whole situation. He would tell me that we would have to go to Uncle Basyl’s house to pick something up. When we walked in the door my Uncle Basyl would be standing there with a cookie for his great nephew. I loved every cookie that I got, as thought it was my first. At the time, it was special but, looking back on it makes it a great memory.
I remember that cold winter day. I was sitting on the couch with my Mom when my Dad came through the door, the chill that went through my body was something I will never forget. They sat me down and explained to me what had happened to my favorite Uncle. It was hard for me to understand but I was very sad because I knew I would not spend anymore time with my uncle. I couldn’t go to the funeral, I was too young. After the funeral my parents tried to comfort me by showing me the pictures of him. I knew he was in a better place.
The last day of school I wanted to go up to my Grandma (Baba) and Gigi’s. I really hadn’t spent much time with my grandparents since the funeral. I could tell that my Gigi was still mourning the lost of his brother. He was very sad. So, my Dad and I wanted to see how Uncle Basyl’s wife, Aunt Mary was doing. When we went into the house there were the same smells as I remember, fresh baked peanut butter cookies. In the other room you could hear the morning mass on the television. So, My dad and I gave Aunt Mary a hug. My dad asked, “Aunt Mary, How are you doing?” She replied, “Good, I still have Billy.” Billy was their son.
As time past, the holidays came and went the seasons came and went. As time goes on people get older and this year my Aunt Mary passed too. She was 91. She had a great life but now she is with her husband. This time I was able to attend the funeral and pay my respects. That was the first funeral I have ever been too. When I walked into the funeral home I could smell the frankincense and the roses, everything was beautiful. I could feel all of the emotions in the room. I thought a lot of the family members were happy that they were finally united again. That night I remember how happy my family was that I was there for the service. I still feel bad for Billy their son. It has to be so tough losing both parents. My Dad and I still go over often and see Billy. We just sit and visit or sometimes we don’t talk, but being there helps us all and I think we all feel closer to the ones that have past.