To me, my dad will always be superman. But the first giant I ever saw will forever be my uncle jerry.
After my grandfather passed, who I spent a lot of time with, my uncle had a lot of jobs for me to do. None of which I will remember or value more than shoveling snow.
The thing that was odd about those times was Cape Cod turned into a ghost town – a snowy white abyss that we would venture into several times a year. My uncle had this big ole plow attached to the front of his truck. Whenever the snow would get past a certain point, I knew I could expect a phone call from a raspy voice asking, “Are you ready?”
I was my uncle’s shoveler. He would plow and I’d shovel walkways (or anything he really told me to). I learned alot in that truck. The main things would have to be how to deal with people or network.
At that early age I could easily see the reach my uncle had. He knew everyone. He knew everyone because we would be in that damned truck forever. From house to house and business to business I became really good at clutching hot chocolate, finding creative ways to keep my feet dry (deodorant!) And sleeping in a sitting position.
My uncle treated everyone the same way; a sarcastic smile, a strong handshake and a helping hand whenever you needed it. It kept people at ease.
Alot of the things I learned in that truck can translate to my writing career. Plowing, much like writing, is a process. You can’t get the snow off the ground in one swipe much like you cannot tell a proper story in one line. You have to do the work.
I will always thank my uncle for that.
The thing is, I wont be able to thank him in person anymore. About two hours ago I got a phone call from my mom telling me her brother had lost his battle with cancer.
What I left out was a big portion of those silent nights is that they were filled with cigarette smoke. Its probably why his voice had that raspy twinge. My uncle lived a full life, and im sure he had no regrets; but i’m certain, 3000 miles away from me, there us an entire island wishing they had him for another 20 years (my uncle was in his mid 60s).
I’m not going to pose the argument cigarettes comitted a violent crime against my uncle just to justify writing this here. This is simply a memoriam in a place I felt it would be appreciated. Take care of yourself because the people around you will miss you when you leave.
Live your life for love.
Rest in peace uncle, from the left coastahh.
Tell pop I say hi.