Memories of a True Antiquer
Just like most things now, I find that the holiday season comes and goes far too quickly. I don't think I was allowed much time to prepare for the season, much less celebrate it, but it is what it is.
The one week that I get off pales in comparison to the month that my sister has been home now, and how much has seemingly changed in only a matter of a month. Sometimes I feel as if I’m writing to document my life.
It was the first Christmas we had without my uncle, who passed away almost a year ago from brain cancer. My grandmother also passed away around this time last year.
To say that last year was a dark time would be an understatement, but life moves on.
I miss my uncle and his old antiques he used to give us at Christmas time. He would show up late to any family occasion, and he always told stories in the most serious of tones.
When my brother was younger, we used to threaten to seat him next to my uncle, because the man was quite intimidating, and surprising serious-looking. He was always quick to laugh, though, so in the end it didn’t matter much.
What most people don’t know about brain cancer is that it is … slow.
You begin to forget things that come second nature to another person. You forget words and gestures. Then you forget names, and where things are. You forget how to read, then how to count, then how to spell, and then sooner or later you’re looking for the fridge when it’s right in front of you.
The man I once knew so well, who was once so lively and free, was reduced to almost nothing.
Watching him like that was almost as hard as letting him go. I wouldn’t wish such a fate on anyone.
I would say my uncle also had a bit of a hoarding problem. Maybe that’s where I got it.
See, my uncle loved anything and everything old. He loved antiques and old furnishing, and just about anything he could get his hands on for a reasonable price. He went to so many auctions and garage sales, all the things he had he could tell you about individually.
His house reflected how much he loved collecting. Old dressers and bed frames. A piano that wasn’t tuned. A jar full of shark teeth. He had it all.
If he were still around, he’d probably be telling me a story or two, and I would mostly listen.