|Posted by Block Denizen , Tue, Apr 10, 2012, 20:31:26||Post Reply||Reviews by Block Denizen||Washington, DC Escort Board||BigDoggie.net|
The nursing home was located on Mountain view Drive. Mountain View goes almost straight uphill for about 200 yards when you get past Center Street. It is a narrow street lined with two and three bedroom clapboard homes that date back to the 18th century. Most of the homes are rental properties now and are inhabited by students or people that work without a tie.
We pulled up to the parking lot and I helped everyone out of the car. Uncle Al wanted to stand there and talk about the view. It was a nice mountain view and the sun was just peeking out from behind the clouds. It made a thin oblong splash on the trees that covered the mountain and for a moment I too wanted to watch it dance along the treetops but I knew a dodge when I heard one and that was a dodge.
We headed inside and I signed us in with the staff. I introduced Uncle Al as my fathers brother and the receptionist pretended to flirt with him. My aunt pretended to be jealous and Cousin Al seemed confused and a bit frightened by it all.
My fathers room was on the main floor just past the library. It was about 2 PM so I knew he would be done with lunch and that it was still too early for his nap. I asked Aunt Margaret and Cousin Al to wait in the library
Dad, I said as I entered. Its me Block. There is someone here to see you. It is Uncle Al. He came a long way to see you.
The room went silent. Neither my father nor my uncle seemed to know how to handle the situation. Nor, to be completely honest did I. My uncle looked at me but despite the fact that I had engineered this reunion I was also at a loss.
My father spoke first. He wanted to know everything. He wanted to know what had happened to Al. where he went, what his life had been like, why he stayed away so long and why he was here now. Those were all good questions. I probably would have asked them myself. But those were exactly the questions that Uncle Al was trying to avoid.
Nephew , my uncle said. Why dont you leave your father and I alone?
Are you sure? I asked.
No, he said. But I think your father and I need a few minutes to get reacquainted. And I think we need to spend those minutes alone. Intend to tell him everything. Thats why I came here.
I reluctantly left the room. I found my aunt and cousin in the library.
I left them alone, I said. I know that sounds crazy.
Yes, it does, my aunt said. What possessed you to do something like that?
Well it was not my first choice, I said. But so far at least there is no yelling.
Or crying, she said. I just dont think Al will hold up very well. He was really frightened by the prospect of doing this.
He is the one that insisted, I said. But lets not go far. Just in case.
Why is he so afraid? I asked my aunt.
It is because he always wanted his big brothers approval, my cousin Al said. The whole time I was growing up he would tell me about you and your brothers and how he could not go back because his brother would never understand why he left.
Hes an adult, I said. No reason to fear his brothers approval. I mean he never sweated whether he had mine."
Its bigger than that, my aunt said. he has a problem with guilt. He is guilty about running off with an exotic dancer, guilty about the fact he fell for her story about a child being his, guilty about the fact that he worked in the porn industry and guilty about the fact that he left his brother alone with three young boys to raise.
I dont know about the rest but we turned out alright.
Maybe so Block, she said. But he always regretted missing out on so much of it. You all got married and raised kids of your own and he missed all the weddings, the graduations, and everything else that went on.
I heard my father shouting at my uncle. There was a sinking feeling in my stomach until I heard them both laugh.
My uncle stuck his head out and motioned for the others to come in. I pointed at myself to ask if I should come in as well.
Youve caused enough trouble as it is, he said. Just this once let me take charge and handle the introductions.
When have you ever not taken charge? I asked.
I want to introduce my family to my brother. He said. He already knows you but I want him to meet my wife and my son and see why I am so proud of them.
OK. I said. I will just stand here and feel left out.
You do that nephew , he said. I have felt left out for a long time now. But I feel like I belong again. I just need a few more minutes with him.
Take all the time you need, I said as Margaret and Cousin Al joined him in the room.
I stood there alone in the library and wondered just how much he had told my father. I decided to let it go. I thought that the men who raised me were entitled to a few secrets. I
My father bellowed for me to come in. As always I obeyed. He thanked me for bringing Al back home. He told me that he was proud of all of his sons but that he was especially proud that one of his sons had brought two stubborn old men together. I hugged him and I did not want to let go.
My father passed two days later. My uncle and his family were still there and attended the funeral. Most of the people my Uncle Al had known had long since passed. But he was happy telling everyone about his son the artist and their life in California. He even took charge of the menu for the wake and he as in his glory bossing me around in the kitchen.
Seven months later Uncle Al suffered a stroke. Being the stubborn old cuss that he is he simply refused to die. My cousin Al moved back in with Uncle Al and Aunt Margaret and took charge of the rehabilitation of the man who raised him.
To this day I do not know exactly what my uncle told my father. Maybe he told him everything like he said, maybe he concocted some grand story to explain it all away or maybe my father told him that he was just happy to see him and that no explanations were necessary. I am just glad that I saw them together one last time.
I grew up as one of those boys at the end of the street that had no mother. I felt cheated. I was not exactly clear on the subject of what I was missing but I was sure I must be missing something. But now, even though I might wish I had a chance to know my mother I do not feel sorry for myself for growing up in that house.
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