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Uncle Tech Dude  Apr 19, 2011
 
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Warning, the following journal entry relates to personal events which some may find sad. So, if you don't want your buzz killed, I would move on past this post.

Usually, when bad things happen I just keep making comics, but a series of unusually strange and unfortunate events have just taken place. I have been working on a website project with my uncle for a over a year. At first it was a side project but quickly grew into my full time work and primary source of income. Although I wrote almost all of the code, many of the ideas behind the website were my uncle's idea. It was a true partnership, mixing both of our abilities equally. We developed a good working relationship, each able to help the other one if we got stuck. We were both very optimistic about the website.

As a child, few things were more exciting than going to visit my uncle, where we could play endless video games. At times he seemed odd, he was always thrifty and environmentally conscious, (turned off lights, recycled, saved coupons, etc.) kind and fair, really seemed to admire the female form, had a good knowledge of science, math, computers, and had a masters in computer engineering, generally healthy but was allergic to almost everything. He was also a large part of the inspiration behind Tech Dude. The matter of fact attitude, the glasses (although he eventually got contacts), the tunnel vision focus, the energy awareness, and other traits came from my uncle.

My uncle had a routine deviated septum surgery and went home to recover. After a couple days he was feeling better, but then began to get much worse. He was soon rushed to the emergency room, where he was sedated and eventually diagnosed with toxic shock (I know, it sounds like a bad video game). After several days of dialysis and other treatments he was finally released to rest at home. He told me the project will be delayed, but it will not stop. That made me feel better. He also told me to drive safely, Again, just when he began to show improvement, he left in the middle of the night, wrecked his car and ended up paralyzed from the neck down with no chance of recovery. Back in the emergency room, only able to communicate by nodding or shacking of head in response to yes/no questions, he was asked a question which he had already answered on paper - whether or not he wanted his life prolonged by artificial means. In his final moments, his wife told him again several times that she loved him. His final response, unable to speak, he mouthed the words, "I love you," back to her. An active and strong man, supporting a wife and a daughter one week, gone the next.

I'm not sure why, but I woke up yesterday with my neck and back out. Unable to move without feeling searing pain, this is an extra difficult post to write (please excuse the grammar errors, I've had several Tylenol). I can't sleep because I can't lay down and sitting is quite painful as well. I am supposed to be a pallbearer tomorrow for my closest friend and I can barely lift a glass of water.

Although I hope part of my uncle can live on in Tech Dude, unlike Tech Dude, my uncle was a positive person. So, I hope I can learn to be more of a positive person, because you just have to deal with whatever hand life deals you. I will miss him forever. Here is a picture my brother-in-law took of me at the hospital before the second incident. That door reminds me of life, except you never seem to see the signs until you've passed them. I just hope I get to make a few more comics, songs, and movies before I stumble past my particular sign in this universe.

TLDR uncle died; can't move; out on street soon

-swb April 19th '11
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