Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Neil Garvey, my uncle, passed away last week.

I've spent the last few days, smacking my head against a keyboard, trying furiously to come up with something even halfway intelligent to say in his eulogy.  So far, my best efforts have only resulted in a half a page of elementary-school-level insight.  "Neil was a great uncle.  He was great.  What a great uncle Neil was..."

Anyway, I don't want to waste all my A material here.  This post is just to let you know bufblopofo isn't going to start tomorrow.  I might push it out a month or so, but just not now.

In the meantime, these are pictures my brother, Louis, found of our uncle.  He really was a great uncle.

This was on Papa's boat, the Fertile Turtle, in 1979.  That's me on mom's lap and Esther in the lower right, looking a lot like Maeve.  I like Neil's sunglasses.

Neil, again, with me and Esther.  This time at perhaps his favorite place on earth: in the kitchen, surrounded by fam.

Same table, 28 years later, this time with my daughter Maeve.  Even if I can't find the words to say it, Neil, I miss you.

A quick update.  Not to be maudlin, but I want to share this.  I was working on the eulogy yesterday and Maeve asked what I was writing.  I didn't feel like explaining the whole concept, so I told her it was a story about Neil.  This morning, while she was eating breakfast, Maeve timidly asked if, in my story, I could make Neil alive instead of dead.

Then she and Addie continued to ask questions about heaven and

Neil in heaven and
Neil with wings and
whether Neil has coffee in heaven and
if Neil can get married in heaven and
whether I could make my story about Neil, who should be alive, getting married.

Addie asked if Neil misses her.  I said yes, of course, but then Lisa wisely chimed in that he could see them whenever he wanted.  Addie let this sink in, took a second, then looked skyward and made a silly face.

Rest assured, Uncle, that while I can't make you alive with my words, your sense of humor more than lives on in your great nieces.

1 comment:

  1. Mike, I'm sure you'll deliver a fitting and wonderful tribute to your uncle. I'm thinking of you.