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Author Topic: Uncle Tommy  (Read 5853 times)

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Offline alwaysinmymemory

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Uncle Tommy
« on: August 20, 2014, 04:40:00 pm »

    I truely believe that everyone in life has "A person" maybe some call that person a mentor, guardian angel, best friend, confidant. Well in 1991 I was just a 9 year old girl and I had "my person" and lost him. He was my Uncle Tommy.

My Uncle Tommy wasn't really my Uncle. He was actually my cousin but I was raised to address adults with respect, so in my family if there were a cousin that was much older, he or she was addressed as "Aunt or Uncle". 

I grew up just one block away from my Uncle Tommy so we got to spend lots of time together.  He walked me to school in the morning and picked me up to walk me home each afternoon. My mother was working in Manhattan so Uncle Tommy watched me until she got home at night. 
We did homework, listened to music,  played Super Mario on the original Nintendo, practiced my instrument that I chose that year. It was the Alto sax. I was a scrawny little kid and Uncle Tommy gladly carried my sax to and from school for me.  We practiced and practiced and laughed and the downstairs ten
ants hit the celing with a broomstick! It was wonderful.

Uncle Tommy loved to cook. His signature dish was Peppered Steak. He taught me how to make it and I still remember. He taught me lots of things that I still remember and will always cherish. He even practiced my cheerleading routines with me. I'll never forget showing him my new cheer and he stood up and said "Oh yeah, you got moves? Watch this..." 
He then proceeded with the timeless classic "my back is aching, my belt is too tight, my booty is shaking from left to right" He had the moves down pat and I was on the floor squeeling with laughter! 

Spring break was coming up and my Grandmother told me that we were going to drive from NY to Florida for vacation. It would be me and my Grandparents, my cousin Johnny and his Grandparents (who were Uncle Tommy's parents) And Uncle Tommy!
Boy was I excited! We took two cars and had a blast driving down. Uncle Tommy kept Johnny and I busy by teaching us the license plate game. We were little kids so it worked great..we wrote down all the plate numbers and States that we could. In a time before ipads and all the modern technology that kids nowadays clutch to this was brilliant. 

We arrived in Florida and we went straight to the pool. The grandparents were tired but Uncle Tommy jumped in with us. Later we walked down Daytona beach and collected shells. We went to Disneyworld and Universal studios that week also. It was a great trip for us kids. 

Everything was great except for one night when my Grandma and Uncle Tommy went for a walk. I remember she came back to the hotel room crying. I asked what was wrong and she said she was ok and put me to bed. I would later find out (many years later) that Uncle Tommy had confided in her that he was sick. Nobody else knew. In 1991 HIV/AIDS were still taboo topics and rarely spoke of.  In hindsight, I feel awful that my Uncle Tommy didn't have a support group while he was silently suffering through a disease that would soon take his life. I wonder if he would be alive today if he just held on a bit longer and could have taken life saving drugs that weren't readily available when he was diagnosed.

After the Florida trip I remember soon after Uncle Tommy couldn't pick me up or walk me to school anymore. He was sick. That's all I knew and at such a young age it was all I would have been capable of understanding anyway. I remember going to visit him and he was just laying in bed and sleeping a lot. His strikingly good looks had started to diminish and he had become thin as a rail.  He was near the end, and just a short time later, (maybe just weeks I can't remember exactly), the phone rang in our house. It was my Aunt (Uncle Tommy's mother) 

I'll never forget that phone call. I answered the phone and my Aunt said "Nicole, put your grandmother on the phone" 

I remember knowing something was wrong. Very wrong.

I yelled for my Grandmother and told her my Aunt was on the phone and something was wrong. 

I could hear my Aunt screaming through the phone "He's dead" 

My grandmother ran out the door and went up the block to their apartment.  

He was gone. Just like that.

I hope that people read this and remember my Uncle Tommy, even if just for a brief moment because he deserves to be remembered. He was a wonderful person and I hope that wherever he is, that he knows he is not alone. He is loved and missed dearly and will live in my memory forever. 

Although we know that after a loss the acute state of mourning will subside, we also know we remain inconsolable and will never find a substitute. No matter what may fill the gap, even if it is filled completely, it nevertheless remains something else. And actually this is how it should be. It is the only way of perpetuating that love which we do not want to relinquish. Sigmund Freud

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Uncle Tommy
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2014, 05:15:51 pm »
Welcome to the forums . Your Uncle Tommy is in my thoughts today and I thank you for sharing him with us . I'm wishing you the best, peace . 
HIV 101 - Basics
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Offline absopozilutely

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Re: Uncle Tommy
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2014, 11:41:27 pm »
I will send out a little prayer just for him tonight. Beautiful post by the way.
12/18 Infected
2/4 12:22pm tested POZ via ORAquick
2/19 WB Confirmation
2/4-2/19 VL 104,678 CD4 407
3/2 Genotype back, and Started Complera
4/2-CD4 688 38% and VL 1,600
5/1-CD4 592 42% and VL 336
5/22-CD4 732 31% and VL 109 :( STILL NOT UD!
5/31 Switched to Stribild :( I'll miss you Complera!
6/19 CD4 508 35% and VL UD!!!!! Crying at work like a baby.
9/19 CD4 799 46% VL UD yayyyy
5/1/19 CD4 1100 VL still UD.

Offline alwaysinmymemory

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  • Posts: 3
Re: Uncle Tommy
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2014, 03:30:56 pm »
Thanks so much for the kind words guys! It means a lot to me. I'm not sure what's going on but I've been having a hard time with his death recently. Its been so long so I'm not sure why it suddenly feels fresh again..hope you all have a nice weekend!

Offline alwaysinmymemory

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Re: Uncle Tommy
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2014, 03:32:48 pm »
Actually, I recently watched an HBO movie that tugged at my heartstrings so that is probably why..


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