February 28, 2008

My Dear Uncle O…

Every time I think of Uncle O, I feel like writing about him. Only I promised myself I would only write about him when I am in a good mood, because this man’s best quality was putting smiles on people’s faces, and this is how I like to remember him, with a smile.

Uncle O used to work with my dad as his deputy in the last company my dad worked before he started his own business. I didn’t know him back then; I barely went to my dad’s office, which is ironic since I moved in the same street in zamalek a couple of years ago!

Anyways, a couple of years after my dad started his business, he asked Uncle O to join, and he did. I remember very clearly the first time I met him; my mom, my sisters, and I were stopping by my dad’s office to go have dinner together and he was just leaving, and he stopped and greeted us, and told my baby sister he loved looking at her because she looked exactly like his daughter. He said it so casually and like he had known us for ages.

We got to know him on a family level; his wife made friends with my mom, his oldest son was my sister’s age, his daughter was my baby sister’s age, and his youngest boy was the cutest thing ever. Funny thing, his daughter and my sister did look a lot like each other!! I think it was mostly the hair.

I used to stop by my dad’s office every day on my way back from school, and then college, just to say hi and to have my daily dose of delightful Uncle O. back then, my relationship with my dad was borderline hatred since it was the crazy teenage years and well, mom used him as a scary figure; so Uncle O was the one who would tell me how to approach my dad without pushing the wrong buttons and he would always assure me that my dad had nothing against me, as a matter of fact, he was proud of me, only wouldn’t show it because he wouldn’t want to spoil me.

Uncle O was the best! He’s been there through our terrible car accident; he was the first one to arrive at the scene, and seeing him, I knew we would be ok! He was there to drive me to my physics class when no one was available, and we would talk about almost everything during the car ride! He was there when my dad fought with me over the phone for joining Faculty of Arts instead of Business, and talked me into not making the fight bigger when it didn’t even matter to me which line of studies to choose. He was there to teach me how to park my car, and he was there the day I went to take the driving test since my dad had a strict no-wasta-for-driving-license policy.

He was there almost all the times I needed someone to give me good advice. And he had the quality of making people listen. And it wasn’t just me! It was everyone in the company; it was also my sisters, and even mama. She would call him up and ask him to talk some sense into me when I am acting all “crazy”! Everyone just listened to him; he could motivate people with the most encouraging smile ever; people at work would jump through hoops to not disappoint him. Truth be told, he was a better manager than my dad, and that is why my dad trusted him the most. When my dad wrote a will, he made him in charge of the business, and before that, he was one of two who had a power of attorney covering everything to my father’s name.

He left the company when he was offered a better opportunity with a multinational in a different field. He said he hated to leave, but promised he’d always be there. And he kept that promise, and he remained a family friend ever since.

I wanted him to be one of the witnesses when I got married, only my dad said it had to me a blood relative from my side (my father’s brother) and another from the X’s side (his uncle). If it were up to me to insist, it would have definitely been Uncle O from my side; he has always been more of an uncle to me than my real uncle.

Five years ago, Uncle O had a terrible car accident on his way back from El Ein El sokhna. All I really know about the accident was that his head was badly injured and that he was in a comma in the hospital. I went to the hospital the same night with my mom and my x. Of course I couldn’t see him, I sat there in the visitors area trying to remain calm; I don’t do hysteric crying in public anyways, but I broke down and cried the moment I got into my car.

When he woke up, he couldn’t remember a lot of things and some of his motor functions were affected due to the head trauma. He knew his name, he recognized his family and friends; he just didn’t remember details of events, which was ok really, but not to him I guess!

He never really recovered. I don’t know the medical description of his case; all I know is that he was never the same; although he regained most of his motor functions, he had some serious depression caused by the injury, some brain chemicals were disturbed in the process. I wish I knew more, or not.

I visited him a few months after I gave birth to my first baby. I wanted him to see my son, and I wanted to see him because I missed him so very much. He got out, said hi, didn’t even sit down; just held my son so tight and kissed him on the forehead, and gave him back to me wishing the two of us the best, and then just excused himself back to his room.

I barely held the tears as his wife told me he doesn’t even get out of his room to meet his own brothers, and that he only did it because I am so dear to him. I left not wanting to see him again because it broke my heart to see him that way. I am very bad at handling those situations, terrible actually. I am having tears in my eyes as I am remembering that day; I miss him and I wish I could just go and have one of our long hours of talking about almost everything.

Uncle O’s accident shook me pretty hard. I could never grasp that something like that would happen to a great person like him. I know el mo2men mossab, but it has always been beyond me to be ok with bad things happening to good people, to people I love in particular.

Uncle O, I miss you so much, but I always remember you with a smile and wish you the best. I am sorry I no longer visit; it’s just wrong to visit and cry the way I know I would.


Anonymous said...

Oh onsomniac,
i was moved by your story, people like your uncle O are few and far in between, and i'm amazed at the softer side of you when you reveal things that matters.
i wish him a total recovery(mosh bi3eed 3ala rabina) and based on how you describe him i will surely make do3a2 for him.

insomniac said...

thank you very much for your kind words and wishes :)

i make a du3a2 every time i think of him too :)

gjoe said...

I am really moved by these emotions!
What I am going to say might sound really cliche: But sometimes what we think is something bad happening to someone good, it turns out to be for the best. w zay bardo mal mo2men mosab, The prophet said, "عجبا لأمر المؤمن ان أمره كله خير"

Never the less, we should never stop praying for things to get better for him..May Allah grant him full recovery

insomniac said...

gjoe, ur words are not cliche, they just fail to bring comfort when it's concerning ppl u deeply care for :) that doesn't make the words less meaningful tho... thanks :)