Update from Wonderland: January Edition

This update from Wonderland is different from my others. It’s not looking to the future month. More looking to my future life.

A week ago today, my uncle Robert passed away. He would have been 75 this June.

I’ve tried writing this post a few times this week, but I never managed to get to the end. It’s difficult to write about loss. It’s much easier to write about problematic media. So bear with me. This may not flow as well as my usual posts.

Robert was my granddad’s brother. For the past few years, he’s been in various care homes and hospitals. He had dementia. It was hard to see him like that. It was harder to see how it affected my family. Sometimes they’d leave in tears. My auntie Jeanette cried the most. I think we all cried at some point.

My uncle Robert had a good life before that though. He had adventures and experiences that no one else will have. When he was in his twenties, he was a pilot in the RAF. He had a tankard from that time. It was silver, and it said Aiden on it. He was in the RAF during the Aiden emergency. He was in a country that doesn’t even exist anymore. After that he drove taxis. He loved to fish, and loved his westerns and war novels. I tried reading one of them once when I was younger. I don’t think I finished the first page before I was bored of it. He just laughed.

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It’s not easy to talk about this. The funeral will be soon. We’ll be playing Johnny Cash, because he loved him. We were going through his CDs before Christmas, and he had maybe eight versions of the same song. The Ring of Fire. He’d have loved the inappropriateness of it.

Today I was watching Bones. It’s a crime show that I like. And the murder victim was a man who knew he was dying, and he left a video diary. In it, he said:

You never get the whole bucket list done. You just keep adding things to it, because every day there’s something new to amaze us. That’s how we know we’re alive.

I don’t know if Robert made it through his list. I know he was happy with his fishing and his books. He saw amazing places and met people who must have been incredible too.

I’ve never put thought in to my bucket list. I don’t care about travelling the world all that much, and that seems to feature on almost everyone’s list. But here are some ideas I’ve had in the past week.

I want to be a Dr Gallon. And more than that, I want to be respected in my field. I want one day for there to be an undergrad student who has read my article and thinks that they’d love to debate with me. And I would, because that’s how I feel reading journals now.

I want to see a show on the West End. I love when musicals tour, but to see a show there, especially if that’s where the show was born.

I want a picture taken with the Beast. I don’t care if I’m in France or the US, I just want a picture with him. It has been my favourite movie since I was old enough to watch it. I got a teddy version of him for my 21st birthday, and he never leaves my bed.

I might give more thought to it one day. I don’t think Robert ever thought about life that way. I know he was kind, and he was loving, and he was wicked at times. He had a cane that he’d try to hit you with, just to watch you try and avoid it. My auntie Lindsey usually got the brunt of his teasing.

I don’t like to remember him as he was in the care home. I like to remember him like that. Laughing and happy. I remember how much he laughed when my brother, being a child, pushed the red button he wasn’t meant to press. It was a life line, and it went straight through to the council. That was funny enough, but the fact that it was my uncle Mags who answered the call for help was what really made it spectacular. Mam wasn’t impressed. We all were.

RIP Uncle Robert. We all loved you so much.

Update from Wonderland… things are happening right now. Sad things. The end of some things. So forgive my silence for these coming weeks. I will return soon.

And so, dear readers, we reach the end of another post.

In lieu of usual questions, I want to open the comments section up to dedications to loved ones you’ve lost. People you’ve cared about who are no longer with us.

Let me know your stories.

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About Stephanie Gallon

I'm 22 years old with first class honours in BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing. I'm currently studying MA English Studies. I'm an author, a blogger, and a zealot of all things written. I write on everything from comics, to feminism, to advice on university life.
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2 Responses to Update from Wonderland: January Edition

  1. Here’s to Grandad, Mam, Nana, Paddy and Auntie Margaret. The list gets longer as you get older. Sorry for your loss Steph, but you’ll always have your memories. I have good and bad ones of all those above. I’ve lost close friends too. Sheila was far too young. We had some wonderful show tunes for my aunt’s funeral in August and shared some lovely memories. Here’s to you achieving your bucket list and I’m sure your uncle will be smiling when Ring of Fire is played.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fi says:

    Miss your pragmatism and understated love and affection Grandma xxx

    Like

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