Wednesday, August 8, 2012

In Memoriam

This has been a rough year for my extended family.  2012 has been filled with too much loss.  We need a good end. 
Last Thursday we lost my uncle.  That sounds so absurd to say, like we misplaced him or can't figure out where he's hiding.  This comes less than three months after we lost my other uncle.  My dad has lost his brother-in-law and brother in the span of a single season.  We can't afford any more of this.  We need time to regroup and heal.  We need to be joyful again.  I know that this will take time, which is what we need as a family.  No more of this. 
My uncles were good men.  They knew the value of hard work, and honest effort.  Mike, who we lost in May, worked in paving, created with his hands.  Chuck, who left us last week, delivered for UPS for more than 3 decades.  He had a perfect driving record, a nearly impossible feat.  They loved their families deeply and fiercely.  They enjoyed simple pleasures: family meals, an afternoon in the sun, a quiet home town.
This week I painted my nails in honor of Chuck.

*1 coat Sally Hansen Hard as Nails
*2 coats China Glaze Mahogany Magic
*1 coat Essie As Gold As It Gets
*1 coat Out the Door top coat
I realized after the fact that I also dipped into my Hunger Games polishes for Mike's memorial (Smoke and Ashes).  That seems so grim, but I think it's that these men were strong, inspirations, and the books are comforting.  It is appropriate, I think. 
I realized that Mahogany Magic is almost a perfect UPS brown!  If I had been careful, I could have pretty much gotten away with one reasonably thick coat, but I was patchy in places and opted for two.  The polish is not quite as yellow as it looks here, but there are plenty of swatches out there to look at if you haven't already. 
I don't know that I'm wild about the glitter.  I should have taken a note from my uncle and been comfortable in the simple, known enough is enough.  But I wanted something more for his memory, something big and demanding notice.  So, I added Essie's As Gold As It Gets over the top.  This is so much easier to apply and more uniform than other flaky glitters I own.  It looks much better and natural over Mahogany Magic in the sun.

This is a hard time.  I am torn between staying in grief and moving on, remembering and thinking of other things.  No one knows how to do this well.  For the moment, at least, I look at my hands and feel pride in the man that I call "uncle," the man that my family loves, the man that we were blessed to know.  It reminds me of what it is to live a good, respectable life, to be a person puts family above all and see nothing undignified in hard work.  It reminds me of the kind of person I can only hope to be.

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