My Uncle Rob
When I first moved to New York, Rob came to have dinner with me and my mom on my birthday. He bought me “The Grapes of Wrath” from the Strand, told me it was one of his favorites “And you know about the Strand, right?”
I did but I remember being impressed with how well he knew the city. I wondered how many other cities he knew as well. He was always on the move. In Philly one day, New York the next, flying to San Francisco after that. Always something interesting. Always something important. Always making a positive influence on the world. Always trying to make a difference.
I find myself thinking about memories of him in a different way now that I know that there will be no more. I don’t like it. There is a subconscious desire to sum up our relationship in some way, to find some sort of meaning in his death. I haven’t felt up to it.
I do feel a bit like I’ve been avoiding it. But that will change soon enough as I head down to Philly for his memorial service this weekend. It will be good to be with my family but I am certain it will be unbearably sad. He left behind two lovely girls and an amazing wife. A loving family.
For me, there is a little regret that I didn’t know him better. As I grow older, I can imagine that the age difference between us might have faded away and I wonder if maybe someday we would have grown closer. Maybe we would have made a film together.
But life does go on for it must. And regrets don’t help anything.
I started writing an idea for a screenplay a few days after he died. I guess I needed something else to focus my brain on. I needed to escape to a world where he’s still around, still a hero. It’s comforting even though it’s a fantasy.