Nothing Is Sacred When Your Great Aunt Dies


The sudden sharp pain in my liver was not what I was expecting at Aunt Lena’s Funerary Yard Sale – especially not the kind of pain inflicted by a family member’s elbow. Uncle Bob would never have been mistaken for a wallflower of any variety, but by this late in the afternoon he had become zombie-like in his search for nostalgia.

He was not the blood half of the relation but he had enough quirks to qualify for honorary membership. This was the man that married my Aunt Ann, Dad’s elder sister. This was the man who shot at the tarantulas in the front yard desertscape of their Arizona home. This was the man who led tours of abandoned ghost towns and who once played a dying miner with a secret on an episode of “Unsolved Mysteries.” This was the man who removed the three-point safety belts from his white Cadillac Brougham because they were too restrictive for his liking.

And right now, he was literally putting me in the wall over a rusty pocket knife with some mother of pearl detail on the handle.

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