I lost my uncle this past week, he passed away after fighting the good fight for so many years. This particular loss runs deeper for me, because not only did I lose my dear uncle, I lost a fan. I've always recognized the important roles aunts and uncles play in our lives, I take that role seriously myself. What I realized this week, is what an important role "fans" play in our lives too.
I lost one of my biggest fans. A fan that has spanned my lifetime. A person who thought I was the funniest, and most-talented. Who helped build my confidence, and my ability to believe in myself. Who didn't miss one of my 13 years of dance recitals, or that I could I look up and see sitting in the stands with my aunt and my parents when I was a cheerleader. Someone who loved to dance as much as I did, especially Greek dancing. He was the best, and I learned from just watching him. When I saw him last, we were both watching "Dancing with the Stars", and he turned to me and said, "we could win it!". And he meant it.
Not to say it was only positive, it was genuine. He was my first employer, and the first and only boss to have to fire me at the tender age of 16. He hired me back within a week, lessons learned. Who teased me relentlessly about my feet, which I didn't show in public until I was close to 40 years old. Fans tell it like it is, cause they can, cause they love you.
All these years, I thought his role was that of my uncle, something he inherited because he married my mom's sister. And that he was really good at being an uncle... he was. What I realized this week as we laid him to rest and said our goodbyes, is that his most important role was that of "number one fan" to this niece.
Fans are important throughout our lives. No matter where you go, no matter where they go, you take your fans with you. Here's to my uncle. Here's to fans.