Tell. My uncle, sixty-three years young, died yesterday morning at the gruesome hands of cancer. He was the funniest man I ever knew without a doubt. His laughter and sense of humor was contagious. I spent a lot of time at his home in my later single-digit years and early double-digit years. He liked Winston Churchill and W.C. Fields as there was, to me at the time, a scary profile picture of the latter wearing a hat hanging on his wall.
He first introduced me to biscuits and gravy much to my horror. I remember looking at my plate with all of this speckled goo covering perfectly fine biscuits not sure what to do about it as I knew it wasn’t polite to tell someone you didn’t like what he was serving. I moved the food around on my plate to make it look as if I had eaten, but ended up going home hungry. Today I would be on my seconds by now hoping there were thirds and fourths.
One time when I stayed at his house for the weekend, I ended up flooding his bathroom as I didn’t know shower curtains went on the inside of the tub (my dad had glass shower doors). When I stepped out of the tub onto the rug, there was this odd squishing sound. I then tried to soak up as much of the water as I could with what towels I could find in the bathroom, but this hardly made a dent in my destruction. I thought the best course of action was to say nothing, so I left when my mother picked me up hoping no one would use the bathroom while I was still present. Now, I would have loved to have seen his reaction when his feet became soaked upon entering his bathroom, and he discovered a pile of wet towels in the bathtub.
As an adult, I didn’t see my uncle much. At Christmas, though, I remember him doing a theatrical reading of Walter the Farting Dog which did not leave a single dry eye in the house.
I would like to think my uncle knew I loved him because I did. I’d always squeeze on him before he left and say, “I love you, Grub!” (a term of endearment created by his nieces and nephews), and he would usually say, “Okay,” or something along those lines in return, but I know he loved me, too.
I imagine he’s now Upstairs with the Big Guy, his mom and dad, and my dad, whom he sought out in order to tell him some jokes.
I love you, Grub.