This day on which I have learned that my uncle, my father's brother has passed away seems a good day for sunsets. It has been years since I've seen him, but I can easily picture him in my childhood dining room, visiting with my dad. He always called my dad Butch or Louie and they'd drink coffee, smoke and shoot the breeze for hours.
I remember my uncle as a tall, long-legged man who liked to tease my father, who was quite a few inches shorter at 5'10" about his more compact frame. He delighted doing things like picking up a pair of bermuda shorts when they were at a store together and yelling to my dad, "Hey, Louie! You might have to hem 'em a little, but I found a pair of pants for you!" In my teens, he told me stories about the shit my dad got up to as a boy, stories my dad would never have told me himself. When my dad was in the hospital where he died, it was my Uncle Bud who picked me up at the airport. He was there too when we picked out my father's casket. For a long time after my father passed, he stopped by to visit my mom every day, because he had promised he would make sure she was okay when he was gone. He only stopped after his emphysema got too bad for him to go out.
I may not have seen him much as I got older, but he was there for the important things and that's really all one can ask. Wherever he is now (and I like to think it's drinking coffee with my father at some cosmic kitchen table), I hope he is at peace and finally able to breathe more easily.