It will steal your heart away.......
Funny how life changes. Yet, some things remain the same. Take for instance....the twinkle in my Uncle Patsy's eyes.
This weekend, my dear Uncle Patsy came to stay. He had always been a fun uncle to have. He is my father's only brother---13 months younger than him. When my sisters and I were growing up, he always used our address for his mail. But, he never lived there. According to my mother, he lived at the YMCA. It's not that my mother wanted to lie. She just couldn't seem to figure out how to tell her daughters that the uncle who they loved so much was a Playboy. And, probably a cad. You see, he lived with women. Different women. At different times....maybe.
Our Uncle Patsy was a tall, handsome, impeccably dressed, blue-eyed charmer who added a bit of excitement to our peaceful suburban lives. He was so different from our conservative, cautious and conventional father. For one thing---Uncle Patsy always drove a convertible. One time he even drove his convertible with the top down in a snowstorm on Christmas Eve just to get our electric organ to us. And, that man loved a party. In fact, he was the life of any party, bar, nightclub or wake he showed up at. He seemed to know everyone. Every politician, every bartender, every police officer, every judge. And, no matter how naughty he was, they all loved him. Even my mother adored him in spite of the fact that he could make her so angry by disrupting the entire household on holidays, in the middle of the night or just on any given day. One time he took a young woman from our neighborhood out on a date......to Atlantic City......for several days. Her mother showed up at our door after 2 days looking for her daughter. My mother was not too happy about that. Our babysitters even loved my uncle......he'd pop in out of the blue on a Saturday night when our parents were out.....probably after being booted out the door by his latest lady friend. And, he'd entertain us with his silly stories and off color humor. We just idolized our uncle. And, we were so proud of how fun and handsome he was. We felt so lucky.
My uncle is in his late 80's now. He's in the middle stages of either dementia or alzheimer's. He is still tall. But, he shakes quite a bit. He still charms everyone with his gentlemanly manners, his catchy phrases and his mischevious grin. But, he can't remember what just happened a few moments before. He asks questions over and over again and he seems befuddled quite a bit of the time. He still calls his brother "Frankie". He still enjoys smoking his cigarettes. But, even the most routine activities like changing his clothes bewilder him. Yet, his blue eyes still twinkle. Perhaps he's secretly remembering or maybe he's just enjoying the moment. You just don't know.
While we were sitting on my porch on Saturday, the 2 of us got to talking about various things. On a whim, I decided to tell him about my Lap band surgery. He was quite interested in all of it....or so it seemed. "So, you are going to loose weight?" he asked me. "Yes". I told him. "That's good." he replied. I went on to compliment him on the fact that he never had a problem with weight so he must have taken after his tall and lanky father. Whereas my father took after their mother---a very large, rosey cheeked woman. "And, I look like your mother," I told him. Just as I was about to say something like "and I don't want to be as big as her", my Uncle Patsy looked at me, his eyes twinkling......"yes, you do".
You know, I never really liked it when my father or my uncle would say "you look just like my mother". To me, that always meant that I was fat. But, yesterday, sitting on my porch with my dear Uncle......it was somehow okay. I have a soft spot for twinkling blue eyes.......