My sister had a close relationship with Uncle Rock, my father’s younger brother. She knew his friends, how he took his coffee, had long conversations at his kitchen table, and most importantly, she knew how to fish with him. Those two were tight. I love to listen to my sister tell stories about him. And, while I listen, I am secretly jealous.
I have very few memories involving my uncle. And very few I can recall with my own father. It is obvious, now that I’m older, something was missing. A connectedness. While the love was surely there, the ability to connect beyond that was not.
Now, with the abscense of both of these men, smiles brighter and wider than any other men I’ve ever met, save my brothers, I feel like our family needs to learn how to become tighter. Closer. Connected. Our family needs to reinforce the foundation.
There is a photo of my Uncle Rock on my dresser that I stop to admire at least twice a day. It’s a good reminder of the value of life. Of his life and what it meant to those that loved him. A reminder that I share a family name with some very important people. A reminder to stay connected, even more so as we grow older.