This is me and my uncle, for whom I am named, toasting Cinco de Mayo with our mojitos. He and my aunt came to visit, and we have spent the last several days seeing the sights, and showing them our little corner of the South. It had been 6 years since we’d seen them at our wedding–far too long. My mom was supposed to come, too, but a last minute medical emergency with her partner prevented that.
My uncle was a hippie; he has his ticket from Woodstock and everything. He broke out of our small town where all social life was held in or around the conservative church, and started a career in broadcasting in the city. He only ended up living a couple of hours away from our hometown, but it was a completely different culture, and he has flourished there, working for public radio. when I was little, he used to come to our house with his guitar and sing me folky songs. I still know The Man Who Never Returned because he sang it to me. He and my aunt were the most exotic people I knew growing up, with their artsy life and their social justice ideals and their political activism. They are still Bohemian, even if they are now of the Bourgeois variety. I always thought I’d grow up to be my mom, but I really grew up to be Uncle Ray. Even the relationship dynamics between he and Aunt P are like the dynamics between me and Mr. L. It was like spending 6 days with mirrors of yourself, and seeing your strengths and foibles from the outside. Fascinating!
They are on a plane back north now, and everyone gets to go back to their routines. It was a nice little break, though, and a good time reconnecting. I am glad they came, and I am determined that we will see them before another 6 years has gone by.