My mom called me at work today. I’m starting to develop a complex about phone calls from my family. They only call international when someone has died. Mom told me that my uncle David was killed in an accident yesterday. I took the news pretty calmly. She was upset so I tried to cheer her up, and we talked for a while about the quilt shop she’s opening. Afterwards Albert asked whether I was close to David or not, and I actually stopped to think: “Well, I haven’t seen him in years, and I don’t think Rodd ever met him… but we used to be really close when we were kids.” And suddenly that set me off.
David was my dad’s half-brother and we were practically the same age. He and my grandparents lived on a farm and my sister and brother and I would always beg to stay the night. David had the coolest tree house that ever existed outside of the movies. (It was in the back of the horse paddock.) I remember him introducing me to “The Legend of Zelda” and me just being blown-away that a video game could actually remember your position. Once we stayed up all night crafting a Christmas wreath out of a coathanger and sliced green garbage bags. Another time we hauled a bunch of his old toys out on the front lawn and tried to flag down passing cars to stop at our “garage sale,” which we were convinced was going to make us rich. We tried to make bread from raw grain out in his shed. We’d catch lightning bugs in his backyard. Once we went for a “hike” while the grown-ups were away and we all had to jump a creek. Antny was little and fell in (of course), so we had to rush him back to the house and clean him up before they discovered us. I don’t think they ever knew about it.
We sorta grew apart once we got older, and I hadn’t seen him since I moved away five years ago. I can’t believe he’s gone just like that though, and I’ll never get to introduce him to my husband. It sucks being away from your family at times like this.
Update: I just got an e-mail from my dad. It sounds like my grandparents are going out of their minds with grief. I’m more upset than I thought I’d be. This is the first one of my relatives of my age that I’ve lost. It’s hard. And I just found this…