Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Dear Uncle Harvey Sir

My uncle stole my girlfriend from me. And then he married her.

Well, maybe stole is too harsh a word. And maybe girlfriend is not an exact description. I had this mad crush on my fifth grade teacher. She was pretty, she was young, she was smart, she was vivacious and, best of all, she was single. Little did I know that not only had I noticed all of these endearing qualities, so had Dear Uncle Harvey Sir.

The youngest in a family of five, and the only boy, he must have been overwhelmed growing up in a household with his 4 sisters, his Mom, aunt and grandmother. I imagine that he and my grandfather didn't stand a chance. Anyway, he had remained single well into his 30's when he was introduced to my girlfriend. Only I didn't learn about this liaison until much later.

Well into my sixth grade year, at Thanksgiving, their relationship was fully revealed to me. I still remember us driving back from that family reunion, my uncle and my girlfriend together in the back seat, my uncle's head resting on her shoulder.

The next year they announced their engagement, and shortly afterwards they were married. But from that most inglorious of moments would come a memory that I carry around with me almost a half century later.

I was ill the evening of the nuptials and was unable to be part of the festivities. My recollection is unclear as to whether or not I was merely nursing a broken heart. Late that night, my parents returned home from the wedding, bringing with them unexpected visitors. Dear Uncle Harvey Sir and my girlfriend, still in their wedding attire, came into my bedroom to check up on the patient. Could they not, on their first night of marriage, have been in a thousand other places?

It is now Dear Uncle Harvey Sir's turn to not be feeling so well. We got word that he was in the hospital earlier this week. Thankfully, he is now back home and resting comfortably. He is, and has been very adamant throughout the years, that there is to be no fuss attended to him. Our calls and emails to his children bring responses that our offers to come see their dad, while much appreciated, are not needed or wanted at the moment.

However, I can't help but drift back to that night so long ago when a young boy in a sick bed received a most unexpected visit from a man in a tuxedo and his lovely bride in her wedding gown. I forgave my uncle his trespasses as he stood by my bedside, gave my now former girlfriend a kiss on the cheek, and welcomed a new aunt into our big and wonderful family.

1 comment:

Pam said...

You are not the only person who loved Miss McMormick... so did half of Whittier School...