Stuart had gone off to college and had missed his aunt Julie’s wedding to his uncle John, who Stuart did not know well but would in time come to love very much. John was someone that fit like a corkscrew into a family of beer caps, yet it somehow made everything a measure of its own accord; a respite from its own introspection. John is a man who made the family think and laugh and pause, and ultimately, change. And John deserves his own chapter, or book. But this verse is not about John.
It was 2004, nearly a decade from where this story began that Stuart began to learn the things that would more deeply connect him with his uncle. He learned the meanings beyond the names of Hemingway and Fitzgerald, where he would truly begin to connect with the namesake of this dalliance.
Indeed, as the author, I must now take into account the purpose of this prose. Most authors may wait chapters or even books before they seek the true meaning of the pages’ purpose. Yet, I understand the constraints that I have, as the author, based on the constraints that lie upon me, understanding the short length of time the namesake of this story, my uncle Kevin, may have upon this Earth. In case it had not yet been made clear, I am Stuart.
I could delve into so many details about my uncle Kevin, which would yield many pages and chapters of fun, knowledge, and peace. I could stray into the bicycle shop, where Stuart (I) had his first meetings with his quiet, introspective uncle. I could begin into stories of how lucky my grandmother was to have Kevin as a caregiver, a son, and a friend. I could delay the true meaning of the story by indulging into how important it was for Kevin to arrive at Thanksgiving, make the ham at Christmas, or ignorantly discuss football on New Years because that is what most men of our family wanted to watch, and without knowledge or understanding, uncle Kevin would be there to chat about it.
No, I don’t think that it all must be covered now. Someday, it will indeed be recollected through a foggy, Instagram moment that will never do justice to the man that my uncle Kevin is and was.
What needs to be said now is that my uncle Kevin lived with a purpose that most men live without. As someone who lives for a greed and lust and desire for things that, at the end of our world may seem irrelevant, my uncle Kevin was the foundation of truth and the embodiment of reason. As men and women boasted of jobs and jewels and jealousy, my uncle Kevin was always above that which was coveted. He lived a simple life full of friends and family. Forgive my alliteration. My great uncle, and in this case the term ‘great’ does not refer to his place on my family tree but the truest description of the man that I can find, was indeed a man who found happiness in the things that were afforded around him. And in turn, Kevin became that peaceful pillar in both his community and his family.