This weekend, I had to tell Colby one of the hardest things I've had to say. I learned early Saturday morning that my Uncle Lou passed away. It was very sudden. He was out with his friends riding his snowmobile. Something he has always loved to do. We still are unsure what happened.
My Uncle Lou is my mom's youngest sibling, and only brother. He was full of life, silly, even a little crazy at times. As a little girl, he would bring me with his buddies to see the car races nearby. I grew up loving to watch Nascar, cheering on Dale Earnhardt. These outings were very special. My uncle, his buddies, and me. In the summers we spent many days at my grandparents' cottage on Lake Winnepesaukee in New Hampshire. I was put on waterskiis around the age of 4 with Uncle Louie right next to me. I remember falling once and he stooped down, grabbed the back of my life jacket and picked me right back up. He was always right by my side if I would fall.
Uncle Louie has 3 kids. He was able to see his oldest, Stacy, get married last summer. But he will never see his other kids get married or any of his grandchildren. Everyone is in such shock, I still can't pull my head around the thought that he won't be there to teach Colby how to waterski this summer.
Last year we lost Mike's grandparents as well. Colby was close to them but they were old and also very sick. This just seems so different. I wasn't sure what to tell Colby. So I told him the truth. Uncle Louie was on his snowmobile and had an accident. Colby asked how he's going to walk again after hitting his head. I had to say that he isn't. I had to say that Uncle Louie is now in Heaven. Colby felt a little better knowing that Uncle Louie is in Heaven with Mamie and Poppy (his parents) and Nana and Poppy (Mike's grandparents). He has asked many questions since then. The hardest one being "How do you get to Heaven?". I had to state simply, "I don't know." Colby was also concerned about not being able to call Uncle Louie on his birthday and the one that stung the most, "But Mommy, who's going to call me Goober now?". Uncle Louie has always called Colby and my nephew Keith his "Goobers". Colby also was worried that Keith has someone to give him hugs too, that Keith would be sad too. I just love my kid! So caring.
I'm not sure Colby has truly processed this whole experience. Then again, I'm not sure I have either. I guess the best I can do is take it one day, one question, at a time. And Colby's smile and laugh will help me do just that.