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03 February 2011

Ten Years Later

On the morning of 3 February 2001, my great uncle, Michael L Troiano, passed away at the age of 66.

It's difficult to get a grasp on all that has happened in my life and the lives of those around me since Great Uncle Mike, or "GUM" as I came to know him, left us. Obviously, the first week or so was the roughest for me. But there have been countless ups and downs over the last ten years. Somehow, demarcating ten years from this point seems more significant than arbitrarily demarcating a decade according to the calendar.

I'm almost positive the last time I saw GUM was for Christmas 2000; I was 12, going on 13. Gosh, when you put it like that, it's scary. And here I sit in 2011, a 23-year-old. I honestly can't begin to fathom what percentage of the things I think about in day-to-day life — my ambitions and desires, my worries and fears, my hopes and dreams — were even part of my conscious existence when I was 13. Simply put, so much has changed.

GUM, even though you were affectionately known as everyone's "Uncle Mike," you'll always be my "Uncle Mike." Life isn't quite the same without you, but it is in part because of you that things have turned out as great as they are. And while I still remember old memories of you fondly, I can't wait to share my newer ones with you someday.


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