Mondays will be different now…

On this new Monday I won’t write for three hours, put the finishing touches on that food I prepared the night before, make the coffee, pack both coffee and food and hightail it over to Uncle Ed’s house to take him out for our two hours together.

Today he won’t come slowly out with his cap and his cane to get into my car – never an easy task for him because my seats are tall and he was short.

He would more or less back into the seat on the passenger side and try lifting his left hip up on to it. And when he couldn’t hoist himself into the car that way he would sometimes say “Let’s try turning the other cheek!” and slowly pivot and hike his right hip until gradually, very gradually he got himself into the car.

“If only I weren’t so FAT!” he would say but in my book he wasn’t fat. In my book he was mighty.

In my book he was a short-in-stature ‘strongman’ who always wore a soft blue workshirt, in whose breast pocket he carried an elegant little pocketknife.

He could pull out any splinter on any child. He could pull out any baby tooth that needed that one last twist.

He was my uncle by marriage but mostly he was my friend. He loved our outings but he loved me more. Nine days out of ten, before we had driven even 100 feet he would say “Now I know you’re very busy. Why don’t you swing right back around the block, dump me and go about your day?”

Dump him?! I never wanted to dump him. In all my adult life I never had the sense to stop working and take a break to eat lunch like a normal person. When I was with Uncle Ed I learned how to do that. Every Monday and Thursday for the last six years we ate lunch together somewhere out in nature.

Today I must arrange the music and choose the pictures to display at the funeral home.

Here are two of them now.

The one at the top is from last June, showing him as he caned his way from his apartment door out toward my car.

This one underneath is from a summer day in the 80s and shows how it really was: couple of us goofing around with a watering can while he did what he always did and cooked up everyone’s food.

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