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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Some Doors Are Slow to Open

I searched through the obituaries as I'd done so many times over the last several years. Hunting, scouring for any trace of my family name. For nearly six years, the Tennessean had become my sole link, my only way of knowing if my parents were still alive. Sure, there's the telephone, and yeah, I had their number. But after getting your hand burned by the candle, don't you steer clear of flame? Every week, I'd look through, double check, sigh my sigh of relief and go back to licking my wounds and wishing things could have been different. It was almost routine by now, but that dread still lingered each time I flipped open the paper to that morbid section full of lives summarized in paragraphs that read more like a casting call of who remains in the play that was...
This time was different. half way down the page, in big bold letters, there it sat. My surname. I blinked a few times and adjusted my sight. I may have even flipped the page and came back to make sure, but it was still there, plain as day, a name like that you just can't mistake. It was my uncle, and although I knew age and health were not in his favor six years ago, I was terribly saddened to see it. It occurred to me, finally that my aunt and uncle had nothing to do with the problems that existed between my parents and myself. In fact, they were the very last people I had seen in my family before leaving Nashville six years ago, which may as well have been two lifetimes ago by now.
For all the chaos and insanity that had encompassed my world then, I had tranquility and peace now. I knew what I needed to do.

Her voice was old. Feeble and shaky. Not at all the voice I remembered her having.
A lot changes in six years. She recognized my voice right away though, and we talked and talked. She told me all about my uncle's last few years. How she'd cared for him, how his health had deteriorated. I thought to myself how caring for his deteriorating health had worked a number on her's...
I promised to keep in touch with her and she with me, then I hung up the phone and I cried.

2 cookies cracked:

Camlin said...


Queen-Size funny bone said...

I had the same situation with my entire family for 8 years and I am the oldest of 6. finally we mended because of their health issues and i wanted no regrets. It will never be the way it was before our issues but it will be something.