Thursday, February 25, 2016

Conversations with UD

Dear UD,

I don't know when spring will come again for me.

A year ago, February, we were planning your March birthday party, not knowing it would be the last one we would celebrate with you.

Today, I reached for the phone to call you after work, an automatic response, still, and a piercing jab to the heart reminded me that you're not here anymore, and my whole body aches that loss, mourns the knowledge of the world without you, grieves the ability to dial your number and hear your voice.

Today, the sun is shining and spring is in the air, but I can't seem to feel spring fever this year. Mom said a crocus came up in her yard on Saturday. She sent me a picture of the yellow beauty blooming in the midst of mud and brown. From a bud you gave her last year. She said it reminds her that you are still helping make her life better so we remember that you love us, but I want you here. This is so hard. Still.

Tears fall but the pain is still here. I don't know when spring will come again for me.

I want to look beyond this cold, dark winter and spy something better, but all I can see is a bleak, desolate landscape.         

Those who say time heals all wounds don't know a loss like I do. Just aching emptiness, a hole that will never be whole again.

I just want to be able to pick up the phone and then talk to you, my uncle. Conversations with you were precious. People say we don't know what we have until it's gone sometimes. That is so true.

I just want to have a conversation with you again. I miss that. I miss you.

I don't know when spring will come again for me. But I know, if you were here, you would be outside feeding the hummingbirds, walking the dogs, inspecting tree limbs for emergent buds, watching for robins, hunting for crocuses. Searching for signs of spring.

So I, too, will venture out in the fresh air, probing, hoping for a hint that spring will return again for me someday.   

Love, Rach

Friday, February 19, 2016


Dear UD,

One of the worst things I can imagine is the carcass of a charred library. Can you imagine if we lived in Bradbury’s world? All the libraries burned, empty husks. All of that history, knowledge, shared connection throughout time wiped away as if never there.

That's how I feel in this world now.

One by one, you topple, the generations before us, gone of a sudden.

We are not ready to carry on without you. 

I am not ready to be the one who remembers.

I remember the generation before and the one before that and even the one before that.  Four generations, five including the one that comes after me, but I don't remember clearly. I don't know enough.

A kaleidoscope of images flashes through my mind:

Picking strawberries from the patch with Grandma Iva, snuggling on Grandma Bonnie’s lap as she reads Hop on Pop and The Little Red Hen, turning the handle as I make ice cream on the back porch with Grandpa Bruce long before he teaches teenage me to play Bridge, picnicking with Grandma Bessie at the yearly reunion, peeling fresh garden tomatoes at Grandma Juanita’s knee, reeling in big ole catfish from the pond on the family farm with Grandpa Crawford, listening to Dad’s eclectic music while learning everything from vocabulary to tolerance to history from him.

So many memories, so much shared history.

And you, Uncle David, you who could hold me in one of your hands from the day I was born, you knew me, the real me in a way others don't, can't. 

And now that you are gone from this world, I stand alone in the ruins of all of that history, knowledge, shared connection and weep. 

Love, Rach