Good riddance. It’s been a difficult year, to say the least. Maybe the hardest of my life. Despite it all though, there were still some pretty bright spots that burned in the dark.
Two good friends got engaged. Another two got married. Moved into a new apartment. Visited Ireland, New York City, Chicago, Seattle, Palms Springs, Tahoe, Solvang and St. Petersburg. Got to know my future brother in-law. Went spelunking for the first time. Made some art that I’m proud of. And above all else, I got engaged to the woman I love.
It’s enough to think 2016 would’ve been one of my best. But like I said, It’s been a hard one, and I’m ready for a fresh start.
My Uncle Tony, technically my Great Uncle, passed in April. I’d bet anything he’d want to be celebrated, not mourned. So I’m gonna try my best here.
No matter what room he was in, his laugh was the loudest thing in it, and he was always laughing. He slept with a few thousand refrigerator magnets under his mattress because he said it helped his back. He was a character to say the least.
When we’d show up to visit, between my brother and I, he’d give one a BB gun, and the other a spear tied to one of our ankles. He’d tell us to go have some fun and catch something. He had a dock out back where the waters eventual led to the Gulf of Mexico. There was always a lot of fishing.
I learned for the first time I could swim without sinking in his pool. The same pool he told my brother and I had the “red dot” technology, so he’d know if we ever peed in it. We were mortified.
He and my dad would take us to watch the greyhounds race at the track. We always had ice cream and Uncle Tony always had a cigar.
He gave me my first magnifying glass and my first pocket knife. Still have the magnifying glass. He gave us a lot of great memories, the kind you never lose.
He died on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. Honestly, I can’t imagine a more fitting way for him to go. He was a man full of life, till the very end.
Godspeed Uncle Tony.
My brother and I on Uncle Tony’s dock.