I watched the results trickle in on my smart phone as I stood in my cousin's kitchen in Bremerton, Washington. I had jetted off to the Seattle area on election day to join my cousin and the rest of her immediate family in mourning the loss of her dad - my uncle and godfather. My godfather was a simple guy. He joined the Navy during the Korean War and was an electrician on aircraft carriers and after retiring from active duty found work in Bremerton dismantling decommissioned ships. He was electrocuted once and contracted Hepatitis C while in Korea - this is what eventually killed him. As my cousin Viki wrote in a statement she asked me to read from at the memorial, he loved and was loved.
Despite being a Navy guy, Latino and old school in many ways, he was one of the most publicly loving men I've ever met. He never hesitated to say, "I love you," as you parted from him, even to walk to the kitchen to grab him dinner. He shared that love to loving with his two daughters and one son, so much so that you can hear his son, my cousin, shamelessly pronounce his love for his own son and family members. No cold machismo in this family.
My cousins did ask me to say a little something at the memorial since they were too overwhelmed to say anything themselves. I ended up mostly speaking from the heart and thanking my aunt (my mother's sister) for falling in love with him and bringing him into my life.
While in the great Northwest, I was able to chill out with familia, catch up a little on homework and kinda unplug from the chaos that is my usual life. I'll have plenty of time to comment on what the mayor's race means to Chicago's progressive community and all the other things I'd usually rant on about. But for now I'm just trying to get back into the swing of things and prepare for my trip to Butler University on Tuesday. My daughter's learning fractions and this is testing my awesome tutoring skills. My husband did an outstanding job in holding down the fort while I was gone. For the record, I'm not surprised at all. If there's one thing in our marriage, it's that we do such an awesome job at being partners in life, that we survive pretty darn well when the other leaves.
So now back to my homework and outlining my talk. I hope if you are in the Indianapolis area that I'll see you on Tuesday night.