It’s never made any sense to me to call out “Uncle” when admitting defeat. At least not in my family …
I had two uncles when I was growing up, and both were just a few years older than me. One was Uncle Roy, and the other was Uncle Keith. I was probably the only one who actually called them ‘uncle’ and I can’t remember why I did. Both of my uncles liked fast cars and spent a lot of time gazing under the hoods of various and sundry vehicles. I think Uncle Roy probably liked fast women too (but that’s another story). They never actually met but they both held a special place in my heart, and they are both now dead. Uncle Roy let me ride in his fast cars with him. Some of them were convertibles and we’d drive up to my Grandma Mackey’s in Douro with the music blasting, and stop somewhere for ice cream on the way up. It made me feel terribly grown up and way cooler than I actually was. My Uncle Keith let me follow him around for years, whether he had guy friends around or not, and had to listen to countless questions about everything in the universe. He also helped me move upteen times, up I don’t know how many flights of stairs (when you’re young and broke you’re always on the top floor). Uncle Roy died pretty young. Uncle Keith died last night.
Uncle Roy never got to know me as an adult. Uncle Keith did, and the crazy thing about him was that he thought I could do anything. Yah, really. Can you imagine that? And it didn’t matter what kind of family stuff did or did not go on, he never lost touch. He was the last person I called (from San Franscisco) when I made my big trip to China, and one of the first people I called when my dog died. It was that kind of relationship.
I’m going to miss him. He’s left a lovely wife behind and many memories. My oldest son is named after him …
I’m not heading into the studio today. Today I’m drinking tea, and feeling sorry for myself. Tomorrow will be another day and I’ll get back at it then. I’m sure he wouldn’t want me fretting (actually called me last week and told me not to worry about him) but there’s nothing wrong with feeling sadness when you’re sad, or shedding a few tears, or having a little ice cream. It doesn’t mean I’ve given up — I’m taking time to feel what I feel and will do some Amitabha meditation perhaps. Wherever he is, I’m sure he’s feeling the love.
Be well and happy,