by Beau Johnson
This will be my last entry.
Not because I don’t love you but because of how much I did. This is what Dr. Daniels and I have agreed upon; that this must be the last. This becomes a sort of eulogy then, and one I hope finds you well.
Of all my uncles you were my favorite. I believe this was something you were aware of. You would never say as such, not you, as you wouldn’t want to hurt your brothers. I understand this. I accept it. It doesn’t change things though. If anything it makes me respect you even more.
You were there for me after my father died; you, his brother. Couple this with the fact that I was too young to partake in him and more or less we could call things a day. Hell, maybe it’s only the mustaches you and he had, those big old bushy things, but no, that’s just imagery, what I continue to conjure in my mind’s eye. You were more than that, Uncle Tully, always more, and this is what I hope you knew. Did I always show you what I should have? How much I might have cared? I want to say yes, I do, but there’s a reason this exercise must be done. I have to be big enough to accept this. To admit it. All told, I still have so very much to learn.
You were many things to me. Friend. Uncle. Provider. And you taught me so much more. From cutting the back grass first because you might not be so inclined to do the front once you finished to how I’m able to tie my tie. Or the tools you would have me hand you, you making sure I came to know what each of them did. This and more, examples which make up the man you were raising me to become. It’s because you cared, Uncle Tully; because you went and took the time. My surrogate father. My Uncle Tully.
Yes, this feels more than right.
You were well received too, but most men like you are; just hair and bones and nails being what we lowered into the ground. This tells you something. Speaks volumes, really. It’s why I invoked rule 9 and asked for your heart once the time came. I asked to have it medium rare too, just as you would like. And I know it wasn’t right, having only partaken in six relatives since coming of age, but I felt compelled to do this nonetheless; to ask and then receive. It’s because of what you imparted upon me — that family is the only importance. I didn’t want what most of them wanted. No liver or eyes, no thick side of thigh. I wanted you, the best part of you; the man who taught me to care.
In my heart I wanted your heart.
So you’d be with me every day.
This is how I say goodbye then, Uncle Tully. Say hello to Dad.
Beau Johnson has been published before. Most of his ramblings come from memories which include, in no particular order, Manimal, Stephen King, and the time the Bionic Man was supposed to marry the Bionic Woman but it never ever happened at all. You can find him around the web and in anthologies here and there.