I didn’t know him
Last week, Mr. Alice’s uncle passed away. (That’s the fourth in his family since November.)
I barely knew Uncle N. He was frequently ill, and when he did come to family gatherings such as Thanksgiving, he sat in an easy chair and napped.
I found out at the funeral home that he was a Master Mason, and I was there while they performed their ceremony for him. I’ve never seen anything quite like it before. (It did, however, remind me of my sorority initiation years ago.)
I never met his children, who were estranged from him for forty years.
I never knew that he had been a locomotive engineer back in the days of steam.
I didn’t know that he had model trains, and I was not aware that he was a brilliant woodworker. (They had this clock on display, along with some other things that he had created, that would have looked comfortable in any mansion.)
One family member recalled that he always took the time to patiently and thoroughly answer any question put to him by a child. Another remembered only that he was a real mean son of a bitch before he became ill.
During the service, the minister made it a point to not how he “allowed [his wife] to do things outside of the home, to be involved in the community] and I had to raise an eyebrow at that.
It reminded me of all the funerals I’ve been to, all those I’ve lost. But it also reminded me that everyone has a story and things about them that you might not know.