I was sitting with my father yesterday, and we were chatting about my childhood. I mentioned that an uncle of mine was on Facebook, someone my family had lost contact with over the years. He was married to my mom’s sister. I can’t remember the exact time line of events, but eventually he and my aunt divorced, my parents divorced. That was it, we did not see him any more. He was one of most favoritist people in this world. He was my Uncle Herbie.
He was super tall (or maybe I was super short), he had a crazy red/orange afro with sparkly twinkly eyes. When my Uncle Herbie would arrive, we would fly into his arms. He would swing us around and often had gifts for us. I think back to this now, he was pretty young, we were not even five yet, but he loved us.
One time my parents let him and my aunty babysit us. During that visit, he gathered us in sheets, and while holding tight to all four corners he swung us around his apartment. My sister and I shrieked with glee. If my mother had been there she could have well had heart failure. Later that evening they took us on a bus to local fair. I remember the fun we had riding the carousel together. I think they got in trouble that night, cause when my parents got back, we were not there.
I don’t remember much from my childhood. It was probably my way of coping with some of the dysfunction that happened. After my mom and dad separated, the way I saw life was altered. My dad told us he was an alcoholic and that jaded my childhood memories. I was angry, that we were not normal.
So I find it interesting that I have such clear memories of this man. He took me on my first motorcycle ride, I remember clinging to him while the wind whipped over my face, heart pounding and giggling the whole time. My mother again, had heart failure when we got back. I am not sure he was her favorite uncle, but Uncle Herbie brought life and joy on his arrivals. I don’t remember my parenting fighting when he was there, I don’t remember my dad being mad. It was a magical time. Can anyone relate to this uncle?
Today the crazy red afro is gone. He grew up (mostly), a pure white head of hair cut respectively short, but he still has crinkly, twinkly eyes. I think I may have Peter Panned him in my mind, cause I was kind of shocked his long hair was gone (smile).
Thanks Uncle Herbie for the memories. You gave a couple of little girls great joy.