Sunday, June 29, 2008

Elegy for Uncle Lloyd (Lloyd Jack Cox)

Elegy seemed like a little too formal of a word for what I'm about to write, but then I decided to look it up, and (according to wikipedia, which we all know is always right) "elegy" is from a Greek poetic form-- originally just a form, but it came to mean a poem of mourning.  This isn't a poem, but it is about what I miss, and missed, about my Uncle Lloyd.

We need a little background first.  In my family-- in my extended family, I should say, on my father's side-- the girls tend to be pretty good at getting married.  Boys (like my dad) sometimes take a little longer, but they seem to eventually get around to it, too.  The thing is, I had begun feeling like I stuck out a little-- I had begun feeling pretty awkward at family gatherings.  This is not to say that anyone went around trying to make me feel awkward, but I felt awkward, and maybe the feeling was not just one-sided.

Lloyd would always find a little time to ask me how things were; what I was doing with my life; how my movie-writing project was going (for those who haven't heard, it isn't, so please don't ask again).  This meant a lot to me.  It made me feel like a real, loved human being, sitting as I was in a sea of people who had managed to find life partners, and finish school in a reasonable amount of time, and do who knows how many other competent-type things which I haven't (like connect with their relatives by starting conversations with them rather than waiting for someone to come up and talk to them).

I'm crying, just a little, as I write this.  I miss that ever-so-small bit of friendship which Lloyd offered me.  It seemed to me as he got older, and dealt with incredibly difficult problems with one of his children, that he became a kinder and gentler person.  I didn't feel like I was his special project; I just felt like I ended up being the beneficiary of a general kindness which grew little by little over time.  I hope I can grow older like that.  I will be pleased if I do.

What I missed: I wish I had asked about him.  I sort of didn't know how, but I think I could have figured it out if I had wanted to.  I have other relatives who are equally kind, but the thing is, they aren't dead (yet), so I'm not writing this about them-- but maybe I could take the regret I feel about Lloyd and move it in to positive action in terms of listening more to others whom I want to know better now.  The other positive thing we could all take from this (as I said to my sisters, and they thought it was funny and not inappropriate, so here goes) is that maybe we could all resolve to eat a salad a day, or something equally heart-healthy, in honor of the latest victim of our glorious Cox family genetics.  It's just a thought.

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