A Journey That I'd Rather Not Take
Got a call at 3am in the morning. It has always been bad news when I get phone calls this late. I've actually developed a habit of switching off my mobile in the night...but somehow I forgot to do it this time.
I thought I was dreaming when the phone rang. I had to pinch myself to make sure that I was awake. The ringing was just too loud. Answered the call and yes, again it was a death of a relative. An uncle that I've not met for the past 15 years have past away. I have fond memories of him. He used to buy toys for me. And yes, he played with me too. I remembered him as a nice uncle. He moved to States and I promised myself that I'll visit him someday. There is always places to go, things to buy that I forgot all about him. Now I'm going there for all the wrong reasons...reasons that have never crossed my mind.
He had no relatives there. He died of lung cancer. Not wanting us to worry about him, he kept his illness from us. He prevented the doctors and his employer from calling us. On the eve of his death, he instructed his employer to ensure he is buried in Greenville. After his death, his employer felt the need to contact his family members and hence he called us to see if we would like to bring him home. My mom was just too stunned with the news. We did not break the news to my grandma for fear of her weak health. My aunt was just too sad and her cancer deteriorated immediately. I think everyone felt guilty for not visiting him at all during his stay in the States.
My mom and I made all the necessary arrangements to fly up immediately. It was the longest flight I've taken. 30 hours journey with 3 transits. The 3rd transit was at Raleigh airport at North Carolina. Got there at 1am in the morning. There is no taxi and one 2 airport staff around. Luckily we had a distant relative there to pick us up. The journey from Raleigh to Greenville is about 2 hours drive. We hardly know this distant relative so there was lots of getting-to-know stuff that we chatted about and all the info we can get on my uncle. We got lost and landed at only at Greenville at 4am. Hungry souls like us needed food badly. Across the motel was a Waffle House. I love waffles. So glad to know that it is 24 hours. We went in and ate till we were full. It tasted horrid and was expensive. Will never visit Waffle House again