The phone had rung several times that week. Each time it was my uncle wanting to talk to my mother. As brother and sister they had always been close but in recent times they had drifted apart, mum preferring not to talk with her brother who had come off the rails and was now living with a woman she disliked on the edge of town.
Mum refused to speak to him saying she’d call him back. She never did.
So he kept ringing and my dad on the second last time said he didn’t sound so good so maybe you’d better speak to him. She turned away, used to her brother and his manipulative ways.
I liked my uncle, he was a lovable larrikin, a man who had his fair share of life’s traumas. He discovered what happens when you test the law, he found out the hard way what a woman could do to a vulnerable and damaged man. Despite his flaws he was my uncle and I always believed family stood for something. But mum was a stubborn woman and refused to discuss her brother with anyone.
The last time he rang dad said he sounded desperate. Pleaded to speak to mum. She looked away and turned on the TV.
The next day his partner rang. He had taken his life.
We packed up amidst the eerie quiet of this news.
My mother never said a word. She sat beside dad in the car looking ahead, her mind obviously in a place none of us were privy to.
They never let me see him. We stayed with my uncle’s neighbour’s. From my room I could see the window to his bedroom.
As I turned out my light I looked across at his window, there for a split second was my uncle, looking out at me. I screamed not knowing what to do.
My parents comforted me to settle that night, but I know what I saw, a glimpse of my uncle saying his farewell to me.
My entry this week is inspired by the following post: