My mother just called me. She told about a thing or two, and then she told me that my uncle passed away. She didn’t cry. I didn’t either. I have never met my uncle. He sailed to America when he was seventeen and he never came back.
I knew him from the blurry memories of my mother and my grandma. That he was childish, and really good at swimming. I knew him from my father who visited him sixteen years ago, that he ate and gambled a lot. I knew him from my other uncle, that he lived in Richmond, Virginia which is my mother’s last name, that he got married with older woman named Beatrice, but they didn’t have children.
He couldn’t speak Bahasa Indonesia anymore, but from his letters I translated for my grandma, I knew he missed her, his mother. And before my grandma passed away, I knew, she missed her eldest son even more. I knew; from the way she kept his photographs, his postcards, and even his folded dollar bills.
I have never met him, but I miss him a bit. I know it’s strange, to miss someone we never met, but blood is thicker than water. I tried to google his name, but he’s only known as a random citizen and there is no detail about his cancer, or how lonely he had been before he died.
So I dedicate this post for you, Alexander Abraham Tahalea.
That you are loved, and you have been missed.
May you rest in peace, Uncle :)