01 November 2017

Uncle Leonard is Alive

My mom has been fascinated with the family history research that I've been doing for her.  She phoned the other day to tell me about items she had found from my paternal great-aunt's estate. Here is how the conversation went:

"Well, my house is a mess right now.  I've been reading all the things that you brought out and I was looking for some other stuff to give you.  I found your cousin's names, the ones who have the family tree and the map of the Oregon Trail that your dad gave away. And I found some of Betty's papers."

"Your niece came over the other day and she knocked on the door but I was in the shower so she went and got the key then went to the north door (like I know which way is north) but I had moved the dresser that sits there so she couldn't get the door open.  So, she moved it. She's so strong, I don't know how she did it."  ( I don't know why she didn't go to any of the other doors but that's not the point)

"So, I was reading and it's all so interesting and I want to find out more so maybe you could look on your computer and find out about..."

"Then your niece left so I had to put the dresser back but it's so heavy. I don't know how she moved it, she's so strong.  I had to take one drawer out but it was still too heavy so I had to take another one out and then the other then I could finally move it.  But then when I was putting it back together, the bottom of one drawer fell out and made a big mess."

"But I found in the papers that spilled, a letter from your aunt's first husband, I can tell because of the way he talks, and I have it for you.  You're going to love it, there's a surprise in the ending but I won't tell you but you're going to love it."

This is the edited version but this is pretty much any conversation with my mother.  A LOT of listening.  (and perhaps a glimpse at who I inherited my ADD from)

But that's NOT EVEN the best part of the conversation.

My parents live on a lake and their driveway is on a hill that's quite steep. The mailbox is on the main road and my mom has been taking the car up to get her mail.  She's 81 years old so I'm happy to hear that she's not walking up it anymore.

She was getting her mail and realized that she had locked her car accidentally.  She pushed the key fob and it wouldn't work.  As she was standing there, she said that a motorcycle went by and she waved at them.  Not in a "Please help me" way but in a friendly way.  (81 years old, waving at strangers on a secluded road. Excellent choices my mom makes)

So, she walked around the car and continued to press the fob to unlock the car but it wouldn't work.  She had just decided that she would walk down to the house and call AAA to get into her car when the motorcycle returned.

Now, in my imagination, I have my mother dead and buried and on the 5 o'clock news but clearly, I am talking to her now so that didn't happen.

"Well, it turns out it was an off-duty Sheriff's deputy and he came back to check on me."  Thank you, universe.

One of my uncles was a California Highway Patrolman in the 1950's and he was killed in the line of duty.  It's one of the many losses that my mother's family endured.  With that, my mom has always had a soft spot for a man in uniform.

The deputy helped my mom unlock her car with the ACTUAL KEY instead of the fob.  I'd like to say this happened because she's in her eighties but it would have totally happened during any other time of her life.

This is where my mom tells me that she is convinced that the deputy was the reincarnate of her brother.  She said he looked the same as she remembered him, he had the same mannerisms, and it was like they just knew each other. 

She offered him a hug and he accepted then he made sure she got into the car and waited until she was safely back at home.  (You can see their house from the main road)  She was so HAPPY about the encounter.  It was sweet yet kind of funny.

While writing this, I searched ancestry for a photo to attach to this post but there wasn't one.  I searched the google next and look what I found:

The California State Patrol honors fallen patrolman and two years ago (almost to the date) my uncle was honored.  There were 97 shares, 65 comments, and 857 likes.    This is one of those times where I love the internet. 

To my mom and the internet, Uncle Leonard is still alive and remembered.

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