I'm switching gears a bit today. No rants about the Tyranny that we live under or the idiots in the media that carry the water for our federal chain-holders. Today, I want to talk about a life lesson I learned just recently. At the age of 39, I am finding that there are indeed worse things in life than to have taken the path I did.
A very few weeks ago, I took part of my family to the movies to see a couple of flicks. After mine was over, I and my wife were waiting in the lobby for my children's movie to get out. They watched Avatar, by themselves because I wouldn't. Yet another tree-hugger movie full of liberal propaganda. But that's getting off the point and I will not allow myself to indulge in that tangent right now.
At any rate, my wife and I are waiting on the rug-rats when my uncle walks by. I didn't recognize him because it had been 20 years since I'd really seen him last. My mother's funeral not included. I honestly don't remember much about that day, I was still 3/4ths insane at the time. At any rate, my wife pointed him out to me and I followed him outside.
He broke my heart. He and my mother were not terribly close. He traveled a lot working for the Customs Dept. and there was some bad blood from way back that I never did get a straight answer from my mother about, before she died. While we talked, the surprise and gratitude that he showed me stunned me. I am left at a loss for words to describe the hunger for a relationship that I felt radiating from him. I felt then, that there were a huge number of regrets in his life that were weighing on him.
This morning furthered that belief immensely. I met him as I was getting some items from a local parts store for my truck. He came in and I struck up a conversation again. He seems to be genuinely over-joyed each time I take the time to speak to him. He said that he had some pictures that he dug out after my last conversation with him and he wanted to give them to me. When I told him that I'd love to come over to get them, he said that he was looking forward to the opportunity to have a joyous occasion.
Merely my wanting to come to his house and go through old pictures was a "joyous occasion". Stunned doesn't even come close. After he gave me his number and I entered mine into his cell phone for him, I turned to leave and he apologized for taking up my time. I turned fully back to him and said, "Uncle, you are never going to be taking up my time, we're family." He lost it and started crying. " I really hope we can make it so." I told him that as far as I was concerned it already was.
He was still trying to get himself under control when I left. To reach old age and look back and see the chains of bad decisions and regrets for opportunities lost must be horrendous. Their weight must be oppressive to the point of despair. There are truly worse things than death. I think that my mother's brother envies her some days.
I will try to add some bright spots to my uncles life, and to inject my family into his at every opportunity I can get. And I will pray that he learns to forgive himself.