Yesterday my uncle Dan died after a short battle with cancer. I refuse to give it any more power by making it a big "C". The best way to describe Dan was goofy, he was always laughing and making jokes. I will miss that.
My last memory of Dan was at his daughter's high school open house in late June of this summer. They had all these leftover hot dogs and Dan wanted people to take some as they were leaving "for the road". When my mom and I left he kept loudly saying that we needed to take a hot dog. We were all hot dogged out and declined. But, Dan is persistent and he kept at it. As we were walking down the driveway, in the rain, he started making up a dog. He was loudly telling us he was putting ketchup and mustard on it. We kept walking and laughing. When we got to our car and there he comes running down the driveway, hot dog in hand shouting "Linda, Molly, you forgot your hot dog." He brought it to us in the car. I had to hold it. The bun was soggy from the rain and the mustard was leaking out the side.
Truth be told I was so annoyed at him. I hate scenes and the whole open house was staring at us. Plus, I had to hold the soggy dog all the way back home. Now I am nothing but grateful that he gave me that one last memory of him. What he did that day was so Dan and now every time I think of him, I won't think of the person who was sick with cancer, I will think of him running down the driveway with a soggy hot dog, laughing his distinct laugh and making a room full of people laugh with him.
Two weeks after the open house, was my birthday. Dan was complaining at that time of a sinus infection that wouldn't quit. A few weeks after that he was told there was a mass in his head and a couple of days later we found out it was stage 4 head cancer and that it had metastasized. It's crazy how relentless and despicable this disease is.
We will miss you Dan!