Metamorphosis Diario

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 - Goodbye Uncle Harry

Uncle Harry visiting me in Santa Monica. 2002

Got 'one of those calls' today from home. As an expat a long way from my birthplace in the UK many immigrants will know that 'one of those calls' means the news of the death of a loved one back in the old country.

Less than a month after the death of my Grandad I heard the news that his son my beloved Uncle Harry had passed away suddenly today.

When he was very young it was discovered he had retinal blastoma, he overcame this and went to school in London. Like many other partially sighted/blind people he excelled in other areas, in his case he played wonderful piano.

When I was a kid growing up in Brum my Mom's  younger brother was our Uncle Harry. At the time he lived in York, being that Birmingham is so far from the sea ( at least in UK terms) we would visit Uncle Harry once or twice a year. Uncle Harry had a big house and a caravan in Yorkshire. He was always generous to us as kids, loved his grub and would join in the fun and games. I have very fond memories of visiting York as he had a little French polishing, paino sales and restoration shop just across from Clifford's Tower in York.

Long before the internet I remember being fascinated by his ham radio hobby, he had an large radio mast in his garden and I recall looking at the radio dials and needles as he chatted with people around the world.

Uncle Harry's son and daughter were visiting from the US and Denmark as his daughter had came from Denmark to get his Grandson christened in Scotland, where Uncle Harry had lived for quite a few years after relocating from York. My Mom had flown over for the Christening last Sunday. He was at home today  with my visiting Mom and his wife, not feeling well and listened to The Archers as he did for years, after which he slipped away.

Obviously I have many other personal memories. This entry is not particularly well written, I just wanted to make an entry to note his passing. I spoke with my Mom today, who is understandably upset after the loss of both her Father and only brother within the space of a month.

Thanks for everything Uncle Harry, you were an Uncle from schoolboy novels, unique, kind and generous. I will never forget you

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