My Wedding day
(l to r - Jan, Steve, Me, Sam, Michael)
* excuse the poor photo quality, I had to take a photo of a photo!
** this is one of those posts that probably wont be of much interest to anyone but me and my family, but sometimes, you've just got to write those posts anyway, for your self.
My Uncle Michael passed away on Friday.
He was my Dads brother. My Aunty Sue - Michaels' twin sister - is the only living member of my Dads' family now. How sad.
We've always lived in different states, but I have some very happy memories of growing up when Emma and I either went to Sydney, or Michael, Jan and Sam would come to Melbourne to visit, and we'd have lunch in the Dandenongs.
My Mums side of the family, and my Dads could not be more different. Mum grew up in a working class family who came from England by ship when she was 8. The lived a simple life in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. My Dad grew up in a family of old money, living in the wealthy suburbs of Melbourne and attending prestigious private schools, his surname was well known and respected. While my Dad rebelled from his family, and subsequently did not get to become everything he could of, his brother Michael and Simon, and sister Sue, were all great successes in their chosen fields and have enjoyed comfortable lives.
The difference in our families couldn't have been more evident the first time I took Steve to meet the Sydney Reschs! I called Aunty Jan to arrange a time to visit and Steve could over hear the conversation. Jan's voice could really only be described as posh, and the way she pronounced her O's in "round about" like "rawwwwnd abowwwwwt" (She was giving me directions to her house, which is near a round about - does America have round abouts? I'll try to explain them if you don't!) had Steve freaking, saying "are they going to have like 3 forks and knives and I'm going to have to work out what ones for what course? I don't know how to do that - everyone in my family drinks out of old jam jars!"
Despite the opposite ends of class, Michael always made me feel welcome, and a Resch. My Mum always felt it important that we knew Dads family. There were dramas back when Dad died and Mum was sort of banished from the Reschs, but Michael always made her feel welcome too, he was always the one she would go to if she needed to speak to a Resch, and she'd often get advice from him too when we were growing up. While Micheal wasn't like a father to me, he was like my Dad. In the sense that he was the only real link to Dad I had. I don't know any of Dads friends, so Micheal's link to Dad was very important to me. Though my father was rarely spoken of. Just a "you look like Tim" or something similar, here or there. His death was NEVER spoken of. I guess it bought great shame to a high standing, respected family.
The last time I saw Micheal, he was sick, we travelled to Sydney to see him, that was a few years back now. Before that was my wedding, where the above photo was taken (obviously - I'm not usually in the habit of wearing a Vail!). We've kept in contact via email though, sending each other photos and updates, and occasional jokes I hope he knew that I loved and respected him.
So we're off to Sydney on Thursday night for the funeral. The silver lining, if there is one, is that I'll see my cousins, who I haven't seen for years, which will be great.
RIP Uncle Michael, say hi to Dad for me, and don't the two of you get up to any of that Xavier mischief I've heard about!