Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My Fantastic Uncle--I Will Love You Forever!

Dear my wonderful, fantastic, super, great, smart, funny, fabulous Uncle,

You always said that you hoped I would never forget you.  How could you even think that was possible?  I want you with me all the time.  I always want to be with you.

There are those stories about when I first learned to walk and with every step I would say "Uncle Tom, Uncle Tom, Uncle Tom".

I adored you like no one else.  When I knew I was going to see you, I just couldn't wait.  I still remember standing at the front door when I was a little girl, so proud of whatever dress my mom had me wear, just waiting for you to pull in the driveway.

There are so, so, so many things...Inspector Clouseau, our Christmas Nativity plays, the plays we would record with the black tape recorder...it was your influence on me that has made me encourage my girls to write plays and act them out with family and friends.

all of the elaborate Easter egg hunts you planned

the little man looking over the wall

Gucci, gucci bugs

There was our infamous lunch of pecan pie and ice cream sundaes at Serendipity's

The Fantastiks

the time you took Michael and I up in that small plane and then realized how dumb that was

the Billy Joel tapes

making cream puffs

all of our letters that started and ended just as this one does

the purple Mickey Mouse watch that you gave me for my First Holy Communion

your disco shoes

how you used to call me "Scuch y guch" or "Scuch" or "Nudge" or "Nudgie" when I was a pre-teen and didn't want to do anything
I look a little scucci in this picture, dont' I?

how you always understood what it was like to have a pain in the neck little brother 

how you used to call me "TT" and that would drive me nuts

all those times that I drove my parents nuts because I would only listen to you

all of the phone calls, all of the hours we spent on the phone

Georgia O'Keefe


St. John the Divine

how jealous I would get over your girlfriends when I was little

Lauren's big crush on you

watching Alfred Hitchcock movies

shopping for clothes for Naunie

watching the old men play bocce in Corona

talking about the books we read, the movies we saw

talking about the books we wanted to write

Edward Hopper

films at the Angelica

your impressions

How you said to me, when I was 11 or 12, "It's so hard, you want to be an adult, but you still want to be a kid."  I have said those same words to my girls and only hoped they felt I understood them as well as you understood me

how you always listened

how you made everyone around you feel special

how Allie called you "Huncle Tom" for the longest time

all of the Christmas Eves that you spent with us, reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas to the girls, helping Jason cook for Christmas Day

all the times you came over and we spent the day cooking elaborate meals

the pumpkin cheesecake you would make for Allie

that amazing cake


how I admired that you knew so much about the artists and the works at the Met

I can still remember sitting at Naunie's dining room table, I always sat between you and Aunt Ann, and I remember you taking a paper napkin and explaining continents to me by ripping the napkin into pieces.  I think of that almost every day as I homeschool my girls.  And I only hope that I can be that patient and explain things half as well as you could.  I always thought you knew everything.  You always had a way of explaining things so that I can understand them.

I can not believe I will never hear you ask me, "How are things?" 
or say to Jason, "What's up, guy?"

There are so many things that we still said we were going to do--take the girls to Chinatown and take those classes at the Met or take the girls to an opera or the Guggenheim or MoMA...

Jason and the girls loved being with you as much as I did.  They would suggest it or come up with ideas that we could do together all the time.  We just all enjoyed being together so much.

There are so many things about you that I will miss.

I have memorized some of your expressions, your voice, your scent, your hands...I hope I always remember all of those things...but you...There is no possible way that I could ever forget you or that Jason or the girls would ever, ever forget you.  These last four months, I just kept thinking of meeting you on Bleecker Street for pizza and having my girls spot you from several blocks down and take off running to you, crossing streets without looking, just to get to you--they could not wait to see you!  Or, how when we asked Allie last year where she wanted to go for her birthday--a weekend in DC, Newport, Philly, Boston...and she asked if we could meet you at the Met for the day; all she wanted was to spend the day with you because we had had such a great time when we had spent the day at the American Museum.  Over these last four months, I hoped you remembered these things as well, because then you would know just how much we love you and how much you mean to us and how much we want you to always be with us.

We were so lucky because not many people ever get to adore someone the way we adored each other.  I am so lucky to have you as an uncle, not many girls get to have a relationship like we had.

I will love you forever.
You will always be a part of me.
I will always carry you in my heart.
You will always be with me, it will just be different now.

Love your always-adoring, always-loving, never-forgetting, always-remembering, always-admiring niece.