That’s right, puns! Because I love them.
My uncle Jason died in 1994 if memory serves. So, 28 years ago now or so. I would have been 17 or 18 I’m thinking. He was only, like 13 years older than me, or something. He died in a car accident, so it was a real shock to the family. For me he was the first person whose death really made the uncertainty of mortality real. It took me a long time to come to terms with the concept that you can lose anyone ant any time & there’s just nothing you can do about it. I understood it academically before that point, of course, but it’s very different when life makes it real. His possessions were boxed up and stored away by whoever, or sold, lost, or what have you. His multitude of cats were distributed to new homes. He had, like, 15 Siamese cats at the time of his death. We ended up with two of them.
Anyway, all these years later a box of his stuff found its way back to me since Grandma died and she had it. It kind of made me realize, as I was nosing through this box, that I didn’t really know him all that well. I had a fairly surface level understanding of who he was as a person. I never got to know him as a fully realized adult. Or at least as fully realized as an human ever gets. He’s a mystery that I will never be able to solve. The box of stuff didn’t really tell me a whole lot, even though I remember seeing many of the things in his home. Several Rubik’s cubes in fully solved states, a bucket of die cast cars, a complete set of Burger King Simpsons dolls, an electronic reflex game, and something packed in styrofoam I haven’t actually looked at yet. Plus some other electronic devices I can’t identify. Possibly two way radios? I don’t know what sentimental value these things had to him, if any at all, or if they just happened to be in his home when he died. His selection of Hot Wheel wasn’t totally random at any rate. There is at least a preference for Mustangs, which we apparently shared. Although I don’t actually like driving them whereas he actually did. I prefer a vehicle with better sight lines and a higher cab. I just think they look nice. He died in a Mustang. It’s remains are buried outside of Garden City, Kansas in a dump hole than has likely been covered over ever since. I’m not sure who has his motorcycle anymore. He used to drive it up Pike’s Peak every year. There’s a button from there in the can of cars. He apparently enjoyed novelty pins and buttons. There are a handful of them in the box. Who might you have become in another dimension I wonder. How different would things have been if Uncle Jon had spoken to you for 30 more seconds. That’s all it would have taken to change your fate and the fates of basically our entire family. That knowledge ate Uncle Jon up and probably contributed to his own early demise.
Ah well, no point spending too long on the what ifs. What happened happened and I’m here now. If there is a life after this one I hope you got to see Uncle Jon and Grandma again finally. If not, then it doesn’t matter anyway.