Monday, August 06, 2012

Long Ride Home

Lewis & Joyce, 2010

One of the most easy-to-love people on Earth passed away last Wednesday:  My mom's sister's husband -- my Uncle Lewis, dubbed "Uncalew" by John-John.  He was just such a sweet, sweet spirit.  He loved his family most of all, but also his "babies" (large cows & bulls), cats, dogs, nature, friends ... LIFE. 

My sadness is big. In fact, I'm really glad I'm not working that much right now because in the last few days I've been prone to crying jags.  During those times, I'm thinking about his children (my cousins) and his wife (my aunt) a whole, whole lot.  And I think about him too, and how bittersweet it is when someone moves on and you know that it's better for them but worse for you and so many others. 

Somehow the lyrics to a Patty Griffin song come into my head everytime I think of him.  Except I want to qualify that (a) my aunt and uncle were married for more than 40 years, and (b) I'm about 99% sure that they rarely said things they wished they hadn't said.  I really think they just loved and liked each other, and had enough sense to keep their mouths shut in anger.  Married folks could learn a lot from Aunt Joyce & Uncle Lewis, I imagine.  So here's what's in my head ... Patty Griffin can almost always say everything that's already in my head:

"Long Ride Home"
by Patty Griffin

Long black limousine
Shiniest car I've ever seen
The back seat is nice and clean
She rides as quiet as a dream
Someone dug a hole six long feet in the ground
I said goodbye to you and I threw my roses down
Ain't nothing left at all in the end of being proud
With me riding in this car, and you flying through the clouds

I've had some time to think about you
And watch the sun set like a stone
I've had some time to think about you
On the long ride home

One day I took your tiny hand
Put your finger in the wedding band
Your daddy gave a piece of land
We laid ourselves the best of plans
Forty years go by with someone laying in your bed
Forty years of things you say you wish you'd never said
How hard would it have been to say some kinder words instead
I wonder as I stare up at the sky turning red

I've had some time to think about you
And watch the sun set like a stone
I've had some time to think about you
On the long ride home

Headlights staring at the driveway
The house is dark as it can be
I go inside and all is silent
It seems as empty as the inside of me

I've had some time to think about you
And watch the sun set like a stone
I've had some time to think about you
On the long, on the long
Oh the long, on the long
On the long ride home
If you want to hear her sing it, click here.

If you want to know more about Uncalew, his obituary is here.

If only my -- and others' -- memories could be so easily "linked" to this little blog ...


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