See... I said I really love you babe

By 4:17 PM , , ,

It's been long overdue and every time I start a post there's been some grand intervention - be it power outage to random phone call.

Anyways, here goes.... updates.

Life Lesson # 11 : Death is something inevitable.. 
and as cliché as this will sound...
they don't lie when they say death always catches you unprepared
regardless of who you are,
the knowledge that it will happen,
and the amount of time you take for granted.

My uncle passed away.

Truth be told, I don't know how to feel nor how I feel about the death. I didn't grow up with family the way a lot of people have. I grew up with family in what could only be described as fragments of time. I have very specific memories of certain family members, and practically none for others.

My uncle. I don't have memories of extensive conversations, because that side of the family tends to be of men of few words, but I do have memories of things he did, his presence. I have a specific memory of how he spoke - kind of raspy and short. It wasn't anything personal, just how he spoke. His name was Donald, but I grew up hearing everyone calling him Pine, as in sweet pineapple (an old village nickname from his luck with the ladies I believe) so I started calling him Uncle Pine.

I remember once as a child, I walked upstairs to the living room where he sat in his favourite chair in front of the tv to deliver a message from my parents that went like "Uncle Pine, daddy asks if..." And he responded as - *shocked face* "Pine?! Pine? Since when you calling me Uncle Pine?? And not Uncle Donald??? *suspicious glance* Is yuh father that tell yuh to come mi dat eh???" 

And I was caught offguard and surprised. I knew he meant no harm by it, and it was just a joke... But it was so funny how he said it that it always stuck. On my mom's side there's another family member I grew up calling Aunty Bougie because I heard everyone calling her Bougie --- only to realize years later her name is Sylvia or something like that and 'Bougie' is means sister-in-law in Hindi. (She was my mom's brother's wife)

I also remember his food. It was always oh so delicious. I have no idea what he used to put in it, but there was a very distinctive Uncle Donaldy taste to whatever he made that you would just know. One time when I was visiting Aunty Ingrid, his ex-wife (yeah, that side of the family is weirdly close knitted and accepting of everyone even if official ties have been broken. Aunty Ingrid, his ex-wife, and Aunty Glory, his wife, are good friends.) cooked and it tasted just like Uncle Pine's food... and that launched a family joke. I told her that Uncle Donald taught her to cook, and she explained that she taught Uncle Donald to cook - although his story says the opposite - and that my grandmother Nada taught her who in turn taught Uncle Donald. Anyways, Aunty Ingrid is the only lasting person I have that cooks the distinctive way Uncle Donald does... regardless of who taught whom. *sad face*

I didn't know how to feel initially... but then I found myself crying yesterday as I watched the photos my cousins were throwing up and reading their wall posts on Facebook. It's sad. I grew up knowing that house on the corner of Sutphin blvd. and looking forward to visiting it. It was the first place we went to in the States and NY, for the matter, usually. Uncle Pine used to pick us up from the airport before he got very sick...

Which leads to the sickness... We all knew he was dying... But I mean, he was dying a while now, but I don't think I truly anticipated it would've been so soon. I took for granted the bided time that we had left with him with calls I promised myself to make, visits I attempted to make and felt like an attempt sufficed because I kept telling myself there was still time... that he'd be there when I go back up to NY because this was Uncle Donald, he was there and would always be there. Whenever we spoke to him, he would always talk about how much better he was feeling, how much he was improving. I was hoping for the lung transplant too, even though I knew the age issue was a huge factor making it a futile hope... but I was hoping nuntheless...

When mom called to say he was gone. It just caught me by surprise. 

R.I.P. Uncle Donald... *sad face*


The tone of this post is now about to change 
into my anti-smoking campaign....

Aside from that, his death just re-affirmed my dislike/hatred for smoking. Despite the novelty and curiosity I found myself in within recent times, I'm by far not a smoker and I'm still an advocate against it. My curiosity days have long gone and I've resumed my anti-smoking mission. I mean seriously, it kills. WTF would you indulge in it still? *sigh* That would make it the second person I know that has died from the long term effects of smoking or exposure, and the third person to have gotten seriously sick from it. (that I can remember off the bat)


In conclusion... some pics I'm borrowing from Xiaxue (she says it's fine on her blog) on smoking, since we're on an anti-smoking campaign again... She did them herself and decided to pitch from a different angle.

Xiaxue... (anti-smoking post excerpt from her blog)

I was just thinking about how anti-smoking campaigns are always going via the "soft" approach. You know, how it's like an addiction and there are hotlines, support groups and nicotine patches to help smokers quit.

Like they are going through some kind of unfortunate crisis.

Sure, there are also damn ugly photos on cigarette packets and maybe they work, but after a while, they lose their impact too! Honestly when I look at the photo of the reddish baby that looks like the baby octopus cold dish they serve at restaurants, all I think is, "URGH! That's hideous. I bet it's photoshopped for dramatic effect."

And when smokers see a photo of an abused, tarred lung, you think they pause and imagine that lung inside them and decide to quit?

No way. All these are effects that are not instant, so what happens is that they decide they willeventually quit, but not today. What's another week of smoking gonna do to a lung that's already soot black?

When you want people to quit smoking, you need to give them bloody good reasons, and because a lot of these reasons are not POLITICALLY CORRECT, nobody ever says them.

Obviously I don't mean that every non-smoker hates smokers. I have smoker friends. I'm just saying that I'd like then even better if they don't smoke. For example, if I have to only pick one friend to go on a free holiday with me, and I like both smoker and non-smoker friend equally, I'd pick the non-smoker friend. Why? Coz even if my smoker friend is really considerate, I still have to wait for him to finish smoking, thus eating up my holiday time. He'd ask if we can eat outdoors when I like indoors aircon and I don't like to have to reject people. I'd be alone while he smokes, etc....
Of course the opposite is true that smokers also prefer to have smoking friends but non-smokers WAY outnumber smokers. 

 Oh... and p.s. her stats include grandmothers, babies, children, etc...

and yes... I know her stats relate to Singapore... but I'm sure Singapore isn't unique with people who don't like smoking.

...And Shelli out.

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