As I drove to my office my stomach was on the offensive, I had a meeting to go to;I was running late. I was thinking of Uncle Paul. He and I were going to the mountains this afternoon.
He was a kind and generous of spirit. He was one of those people who probably didn’t have an enemy in the world. He loved fishing for trout which also gave him incredible patience. When we were children my brother, 6 cousins and I were rowdy but for each holiday he would gather us up and play baseball in summer and monopoly or some board game in the winter. He was a good man and he loved us all dearly. He died and left us all grieving. He requested to have his ashes to put in the stream where he fished and I was the only one to be there. We had celebrated memorials back in the midwest and I brought Uncle Paul’s remains back with me.
BLOOOOY!!!! My left rear tire blew out. I pulled to the side of the road and jumped out of my car. A wrinkled old pickup pulled up behind me. A young,skinny cowboy looking kind of guy got out.
“Can I help you ,mam? Do you have a spare?”
“Well. I have a spare but I can call somebody.” I said. Now I am really late,I thought.
“If you open your trunk, I can change that tire in a few minutes---I promise I know how. And you can be on your way and take it to tire shop.”
I finally agreed and only if he would let me pay him $10. He was right I could be on my way. I opened my trunk and there was a Red velvet bag with Uncle Paul inside. I didn’t explain even as his eyes looked questioningly at the bag. He reach in and got everything he needed and was quickly at work changing the tire. I walked to the front of the car to get my billfold out of my briefcase. He put the damaged tire in the trunk with the advice that I shouldn’t have it repaired--it was in bad shape. He closed the trunk. I gave him $15 because I was grateful and would not be late for my meeting. I had enough time to take it to a tire shop and get a new tire put on. I came into the meeting only 10 minutes late.
Later in the afternoon I drove to the mountains to take Uncle Paul to his favorite place. I sat in the next to the spot where Uncle Paul liked to fish. I shed a few quiet tears and walked to my car,opened the trunk and imagine the look on my face when I discovered the Red velvet bag was gone! Uncle Paul was gone!
All kinds of scenarios went through my head as I followed my travels that day. I really thought I would find the Red velvet bag,at one of the places I had been. I never did.
The next week, I ran this classified in our local paper:
LOST: Red Velvet bag with box of ashes inside.
Please return it as it is our Uncle.
Just put the bag in the mail box. No questions asked.
Well. we never got Uncle Paul back but I know that is ok with him.
He is quietly laughing somewhere. I am not.