“HI Auntie! I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you, especially today. I also wanted to share that I brought all of the pearls that Uncle M gave me throughout the years and am having them made into a necklace. I am still so touched that he thought of me for each birthday and special occasion!,” I texted my aunt yesterday on the anniversary of my Uncle’s passing.
I have fifteen pearls from my Uncle M. With each pearl, memories will surely come flashing back.
“Ohhh sweet, Allie. Thank you. Today is always a hard day and this made my day. Thank you for sharing. 💜,” she replied.
I can already think of a few. I remember when all my cousins and I ordered strawberry milk on the way to a ski trip. Uncle M decided that this was just what he wanted, too. When we arrived in Vermont, he still had his strawberry milk mustache. I remember thinking this was so funny, an adult with a milk mustache. We thought that this was just so funny that none of us wanted to tell him it was there. “Come on, you guys!!!,” we heard as he finally got a chance to look at himself in the mirror.
“Remember his strawberry milk mustache in VT?!,” I replied.
“Omg yes, he always enjoyed eating whatever you kids ate!,” she remarked.
Another memory that stands out is when Uncle M volunteered to take all of us cousins to walk to the island at low tide. It wasn’t that far and it was completely visible from the shore. However, you needed to wait until low tide or it would have made for too long of a swim. Cousin K screamed and claimed she got bit by a crab. From that moment on, all of us clung onto Uncle M. All eight of us found space to hold onto whether it was around his legs, arm, stomach, or neck. As it wasn’t that far from shore, my parents and Aunt were watching the entire spectacle unfold. The smiles and laughs they were sharing could be seen from where we are. When we finally made it back to the beach, I remember us all unloading from Uncle M and looking up at him. Even though I am sure he was completely exhausted and uncomfortable from carrying us, he had the biggest smile on his face. “Thanks for the help guys,” he jokingly remarked to my parents and Aunt as they continued to erupt in laughter.
“I bet his arms are still sore from when he had to carry us back from the island at Water’s Edge,” I typed back as a smile grew on my face.
“I think about it all the time! To this day, I still don’t think a crab ever came near K 😆,” she noted in her response.
I am so grateful for all of the memories I was able to share with Uncle M. Above all, I am grateful to remember the way his ever-present smile consumed his face and the way his infectious laugh erupted with a room in synchronous laughter. I am anxiously awaiting to see how the necklace turns out and what other memories will come flooding back. With the pearls spaced out, each one will hold a space for a memory with countless memories in-between.