RIP, Uncle Tommy. You were the Dad my Lindy never had, she was the daughter you never had. You loved each other and when the two of you were in the same room it would ayeways be a matter of minutes before the pair of you would be giggling like a couple of bairns up to mischief.
After Ellen died, it was Linda who looked after you, took you to the doctors, made sure you were fed and watered. You liked nothing better than coming to us for your Sunday lunch, having a laugh, falling asleep and farting for Scotland. One of the pleasures of being old, you reckoned.
I was the one you called when fuses needed changing, washers fixed and lightbulbs sorted. It was one of those twists of fate that you were born six doors doon fae my auld Irish mammy and her brood of siblings and that you played kick the can with my Uncle Bill who was the same age as you. With all my family long gone, you were the Uncle I never had.
You’d had a hard life. Your Dad died when you were two after he fell backwards doon the stair, split his head opened and died on the spot. But your mother held the family together. You loved Ellen for fifty years and if anyone should have been a father it was you. You loved bairns and even if you were a rogue, you were one of the loveable ones.
I’ll never forget how you howled when I told you that Linda was dead. Like a dug that had been shot. You wept and wept and wept. You were the last link – the last person I knew, who knew and loved Linda. I’m on my own but grateful you saw all that was good in her.
Typically, you waited till I got home from seeing you tonight and was barely over the door when the phone went to say you’d gone. Awkward to the last. I’m glad it was quick and I hope I’m wrong and that somehow you, Ellen and Linda are up to nae good again. Here’s the two pictures I brought home before your wicked stepson bins them. I can’t believe it was only two years ago that you were full of life and that Linda looked radiant. You even hung on long enough to lift the Scottish Cup at Easter Road. I’ll miss ye, ya auld bandit.