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My Uncle

This memory is another early one, but I feel like it's important to share it. When I was maybe 6 or 7, just after we found out my brother/best friend might be able to survive cancer after multiple rounds of surgeries and treatments. Things were good for about a week.

Suddenly one day during the week, I know it wasn't Tuesday or Friday because those were the days I normally saw my Dad with my brother and sister. Divorced parents, there was a lot going on. I knew it wasn't a normal day to see Dad, and as excited as I was to spend a little extra time with my father, I knew something was wrong with my Mom. She drove us over and dropped us off and I got the impression something was wrong with him too. I knew something was really, really wrong when Mom didn't pick us back up that night.

When I finally found out what happened I knew what death was and that it meant someone was going away forever. I can't say I understood it then or even do now, but I honestly don't think anyone does.

My Uncle had been murdered. He'd been stabbed by some hitch hikers he picked up after he was nice enough to take them to his place and feed them a meal before he was going to take them where they wanted to go. I know it wasn't something he should have done, but as a child the kindness of his heart was all I could think about. This man got stranded at the hospital so my brother wouldn't have to spend the day after surgery alone in a hospital during a snow storm. It wasn't until years later that I found out he was gay. Didn't change my opinion of him at all but it did make me think differently about other gay men.

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