Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Tonight I was cleaning out a closet of mine, and as often happens, I digress from one task to another. At one point, I'm at my desk rearranging and clearing out to make room for this and that (it's a long sad tale), and I come across a slip of paper taped to a cubbyhole in the desk. Document "Uncle Henry" and "Aunt Daisy" in family history it says. For a moment, I wondered what in the world, then a split second later I smiled, remembering Mom telling me last year, in the midst of her first flush of grief and confusion. "I want to tell you before I forget..."

"Uncle Henry" and "Aunt Daisy" were Mom and Dad's code phrases in their early love letters to each other, especially during the war when they were quite aware that many letters were read by the Army censors, for their genitalia. When they would write to one another that "Uncle Henry misses Aunt Daisy", they knew exactly what the other meant without being crude or letting anything slip to the censors.

Mom has kicked herself more than once for having Dad take out the bundle of their love letters and burn them. She can't for the life of her remember why they did it, either. What she does remember is Grandpa Fitzpatrick, her father, joking that "...that's the hottest fire ever seen around here..."

The evidence of our existences are fragile at best. All too easily it disappears and no one knows we were ever here...