Uncle Gene was the third of five brothers, one having died quite young, another born well after him. He passed away at the age of 73...by dropping dead while eating Chinese food for his birthday. At my mother's kitchen table. Just another story about this uncle...one who was extremely dear to my heart.
Unk was a state champion wrestler in high school. An Eagle Scout. He was in the Navy during WWII and later the Merchant Marines. He traveled the world and brought all his nieces and nephews fabulous presents from everywhere. At one time, this adventurous man owned a Ferris Wheel and ran with a carnival. When he was off ship, he loved the horses and made a comfortable living at the racetrack.
I never heard him say anything bad about anyone who wasn't a moron or a hypocrite.
Just before his father passed away, he made Gene promise to take care of his mother, which he did until she died. He attended mass every week. He loved his family and his grand nieces and nephews. All of them. I can't even count how many there were.
But Uncle Gene didn't tolerate nonsense from people. In his vast wisdom, garnered from years of traveling the world, he was very quick to size up people. The non-tolerating of morons is a genetic trait in our family and this kind, gentle giant spoke from the heart and mind at all times.
Now, I am writing this for a purpose. With the current world situation in the aftermath of Paris and the World Trade Center and the horrors in Africa and every other place where people have been randomly killed off...I have to comment for my uncle as he is not here to give his opinion.
Remember, he was a good man and a tolerant one, but he was not god.
He used to do the shopping for my mother and an aunt and my husband and me for the girls. He would go well out of his way to get bargains or special toys or videos for my kids...going to a store early in the morning just to be the first to get The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, etc. 'cause my kids loved the stories. He did it for them.
But we all have limits.
One day, while standing in line at a local supermarket, he was behind some younger woman who was bellyaching to her friend. "Oh, this is so expensive. It's so much cheaper in Pennsylvania. In fact, everything is so much nicer in Pennsylvania. How can you stand to live in Jersey?"
Very quietly, Uncle stepped closer to her and said in the nicest tone possible, "Lady, if it's so much better in Pennsylvania, why don't you go back and stay there?"
When I thought up this little post, I had a good reason. It meant something to me to write it. Now, I realize it might not actually fit in with the situation in the world. Unless what I meant was that if you keep bitching about something but are not about to do anything to change things, maybe you better shut up.
The whole story doesn't really apply to anything...unless you stop and think that the people who have left their homes in faraway lands have no homes to go back to. Uncle Gene would have seen through all the fears and gotten straight to the point. To those who have no place to go...America's supposed to be the best place to go. We're sorry you have no place left to call home. We'll see what we can do about that. I hope.