Arnold


Dear uncle,
Tonight I went to visit you for the last time. This time you didn't tell me any old stories anymore with twinkling eyes. You couldn't take me outside and show me some of your growing grapes on the vines that were just outside before the veranda was built. You didn't offer me any sweets from the famous candy closet in the living room. You didn't teach me any Latin where I had to admit that my knowledge of Latin was too limited to talk to you in your favorite language. Tonight you were beyond fragility and silence.

My eyes kept being drawn to the empty chair in the kitchen. You've always lived in this house, from birth to death. You belonged to the house. A couple of years ago your children asked which present you'd like for your anniversay and you answered "a new wheelbarrow". But there will be no more pictures in the famous pose with the wheelbarrow full of grandchildren...more recently full of great-grandchildren. Many images and memories whirle through my mind tonight: my baptism pictures, us talking on my confirmation party, me reading new years letter's too you always ending them with a solemn "your godchild".... They'll be saved in my heart.
Farewell uncle, farewell godfather.... I will miss you.

Comments

Carol said…
HUGE, HUGE hugs.

Carol
Fourier Analyst said…
Oh Darlin' I'm so sorry for your loss. I know you are sad and it sounds like you will really be missing someone special in your life. Lots of thought-hugs going your way and maybe I can give you one in person soon.
anno said…
He sounds like an amazing man -- I can see why you will miss him. Sending you peace and warmth and whatever comfort distant friends can offer.
sari said…
I'm so sorry.

He looks from the picture like someone who always had a twinkle in his eyes.
Hey beautiful girl - I'm thinking of you. He does have twinkly eyes - I can see them :-).

Mums or dad's brother? can you believe it - I cant tell.

Hugs bug

love FelicityXX
Jenn said…
That was such a poignant post, it was a great tribute, I can hear the love in it.

So sorry for your loss

Jenn
Goofball said…
Thank you all for the support, virtual hugs and comforting words.
He was indeed an amazing man and although I didn't see him that often, I always really enjoyed my visits to my aunt and uncle. I really will miss him.

@Sari, Felicity: Yes he had twinklin eyes, especially when he could teach me some Latin or when he started telling stories from his youth. He really enjoyed that.

There's another great picture of him on one of his granddaughter's blog: http://www.witch.be/2008/02/16/286/ . He poses here with one of his great-grandchildren!


@Fe: He was my dad's brother-in-law. That's probably why you can't tell the kinship from the picture. You might vagely remember that my dad's sisters are a generation older than my dad. Since there is such an age difference, I am actually of the same age as many of his grandchildren.
Betsy said…
Man, Ellen! You brought tears to my eyes! I am so sorry to hear about your uncle's passing. Big hugs to you!
Haley-O said…
Awww, Goof. I'm so sorry for your loss. So very sorry. ((warm hugs all the way from Canada))
Jenn in Holland said…
This is such a lovely tribute. I am thinking of you and wishing you lots of love and support while you grieve.
You are so dear.
I'm so sorry for your loss!! It sounds like he was a wonderful man and godfather. I've been gone this week under deadlines - I'm so sorry I'm late in responding.