On June 18, 2018 My great Uncle Wilfred Charron passed away. Sadly, I wouldn't know for another 3 weeks. The news of his death unfortunately never made it to my mother or myself. We would miss the services and the chance to say goodbye.

At 99 years old, my Uncle "Buster" (as I always called him) was one of the smartest, earnest, sharp as a tack people I have ever had the chance to know, let alone be loved by.

I was too young to know my grandparents before they passed so my Uncle was the grandfather I never had and it breaks my heart that I wasn't there for him during this time.

With that being said, I would like to take the time now to honor him with all the blessings he gave me which I will never forget.

I am grateful for all the family dinners we had in your dining room. We would all be sitting around the oval table with folded blue napkins, Aunt Betty would bring out the nice china and silverware, and I always got to sit right next to you. You would always ensure my favorite macaroni and cheese was served and whenever we were having seafood you would always crack open the crab legs for me, as my little hands couldn't muster the strength.

I remember all the "virgin" whiskey sours you would make for us, but considering how tired we always were, I am wondering if there was maybe a pinch of whiskey. Don't worry, I won't tell mom. Thanks for teaching me how to wink with both eyes too.

I am so honored to have such a brave, courageous man to look up too. I know the stories and memories you have from WWII were hard for you to relive and tell, but I can't thank you enough for letting me in and sharing all those experiences with me.

By far, my favorite thing about our time together is all the things I learned about our family. You never turned me away when I had questions about my grandparents or great grandparents. You sat with me for hours going over the family tree, explaining how we are Canadian French and it all started when a Caron loved a Charron.

My questions have always been a nuisance or not worth answering when I have directed them to other family members, but you always took the time to show me pictures, tell me stories, and be truthful about everything, even if the truth wasn't that pretty.

Those are memories that I will never forget, and one day I will be able to pass them along to the later generations as well. It was never about the bomb presents at Christmas time, or the guaranteed $5 in my birthday card every year. It was the love.

I miss you more than you could ever imagine and I would do anything to spend one more morning with you at a Dunkin Donuts. Truthfully I was a very jealous little girl whenever you would bring my older sister and not me, it never seemed fair that she got munchkins while I had to go shopping with our mom.

I will miss your kind eyes, your gentle heart, and how fierce you were about providing for your family. I will miss kissing your cheek saying "What do you mean your 99, you look more like 29!?" You would blush and I would see a tear start to form.

Because life is so unpredictable, I tried my best to prepare myself for the day that you would no longer be here with us, but rather in a place with God and all the other loved ones that left us previously. However, never in my wildest imagination did I ever expect to not be there to say goodbye, and I just hope you know how sorry I am that I wasn't there.

I know you are at peace now, no longer blinded or held back by physical limitations, but selfishly, I wish I could see you one last time, but I know you'll always be with me in my heart.