I’ve reached the age where I seem to be attending more funerals than weddings.
One of my uncles died this morning. Oddly enough, he expired in his doctor’s office. Right place, but evidently the wrong time. He was my mother’s older brother, but my dad called him “the closest thing to a brother I ever had.” My dad’s real brothers were a lot older, so I suppose to my dad they were more like uncles, or maybe Great Danes.
I’ve been thinking about a simple way to explain who my uncle was. This story may do it.
When my uncle was a young man, he and my dad framed houses. One time a third fellow was helping them–my mother’s fiance. This was before my dad became her fiance and the former fiance ended up crawling around in the front yard with a flashlight looking for the engagement ring she threw at him. That’s another story.
My uncle and my dad were nailing ceiling joists to the tops of walls. The fiance was standing around on top of the wall, talking, and paying no attention to the work. He wore cheap boots with soles that stuck out from underneath the uppers. As the fiance expounded on everything except work, my uncle tacked a nail through the exposed sole on both of his boots, nailing him to the wooden cap of the wall. He did it so casually that the fiance never even noticed. Until he tried to take a step and almost broke both legs.
That’s the kind of guy my uncle was.