It had a zipper in the back so that my treasures could be hidden there. I'm not sure if my Uncle Conrad gave it to me. But in my memory I always associate that walrus to him. In fact when you say his name I either think of walrus or burning sage. If you knew him you'd understand why.
My uncle was the oldest of 9 siblings. They were born to parents who probably shouldn't have had children. The stories of abuse and violence are a scar that all 9 have had to bear. But through it they had each other. Maybe that is why my dad is so haunted by their absence from his life. And why he has always felt like it was his responsibility to take care of them all. Conrad was the funny uncle. He always had a smile on his face. He always made me feel special. I remember him reading me stories and telling me how much he loved me.
Last night we found out that he was homeless and, he was found dead.
Christmas always seems to mean sadness for this side of my family. My great grandfather died on Christmas. We were all there for it. I still have the memory of the paramedics bringing in the stretcher and, the lights flashing. I can still hear my sister crying telling her godmother what had happened. As I got older Christmas started to mean drunk arguments and, family drama. Never the tinsel and cheer we hoped for.
My poor father is broken. This is the second brother he has lost in this way. His brother Robert was also homeless and died alone on the streets. There is nothing I can say today that will help my dad. The crazy thing is that this year we are struggling financially. As much as I'd love to spend a bundle on my kids, I'm most disappointed in what I wasn't able to give to the less fortunate. I was watching a movie where they put socks in holiday baskets for the needy. I instantly thought I wished I had had the money to give socks to the homeless this year. The homeless....my blood, my family..they were homeless and they died alone. I wonder if a good hearted person had offered them food, or offered them blankets. I wonder if anyone saw them I thought about giving them warm socks. I hope that someone showed them kindness in some way.
My house is a wreck and I have a ton of cooking to do still. But I had to stop and write this. My heart is aching right now and, I can't stop crying. I have to put my mom face on and get it done. If you pray or if you don't. Send some positive thoughts prayers and vibes out my way today. My family really needs it.
I hope you have a Merry Christmas my happy readers.
|Uncle Conrad and my dad|