Uncle Joe

I did not know you well – mostly keeping yourself … for yourself … and the few you left in.  Most of the time, when I think back, you were in the background, your pipe and a short in hand … a smile on your face, as if you held the secret to all things.  Every now and again you’d break out into a story of days gone by – my mother, and her family … my father, and his family too – always a constant presence in those stories.  Other than those few times, I only ever saw you as … stoic – except for when my mother died, and you couldn’t bring yourself to walk the two steps to where she took her last breath, and look at her one last time … I was watching you  … you were close to tears … lost for any words other than the ones you shakily whispered – words that made sense only to the bewildered … or those living a great loss.  Have a good trip Joe …

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