I am Greek, and my mother Deborah, my sister Alethea, sometimes my father Kevin, and I go to Greece every summer. Uncle Spyro and my Godmother Aunt Aspa lived about 45 minutes outside of Athens. Every summer when we traveled to Greece, we would spend a couple of days with them. I remember all the fun things we would do there. We would shake almonds off of the branches of Uncle Spyro's almond tree. Using his strong hands, he would break the shells off, and present us with the shiny white nut. With Aunt Aspa we would pick lemons off of her lemon trees and carry them inside the small, one-story house with the help of Uncle Spyro. Drinking the fresh lemonade and eating the delicious almonds, we would sit on the porch and talk. Uncle Spyro and Aunt Aspa didn't speak English, and my Greek wasn't and still isn't perfect. But those peacefully quiet times on the porch were the times that I miss the most.
Uncle Spyro had cancer from smoking for most of his life and he became very sick. We didn't go to Greece in 2000, but we planned on going again in 2001. We found out that Uncle Spyro was in the hospital shortly before we left for Greece. My mother, Alethea, and I wanted to go see him. But we waited until the day after we arrived to call. Now, when I think back, I wish that we had gone the first day we had arrived. Because the next day we received the news of his death. Uncle Spyro had died before we could see him again.
We still visit Aunt Aspa, and we still pick almonds and lemons. We still drink the fresh lemonade and eat the delicious almonds on the porch. But somehow the lemonade isn't as fresh, and the almonds aren't as delicious as when Uncle Spyro was there with us. Instead of searching my brain for something to say to Aunt Aspa, I welcome the silence and think about Uncle Spyro.
Every day, I thank God that I'm still here to comfort Aunt Aspa, that I'm still here to finish my life. And since I know that now Uncle Spyro is in a better place, I don't think of death as the finish anymore. I think of it as the beginning of something else, something better. I know that Uncle Spyro is watching over me, and I'm not afraid of death anymore like some people. What comes, will come. And I know that when I do die, I'll just be going up to Uncle Spyro, and we'll eat almonds and drink lemonade, just like before.
Submitted by Anonymous