My mother had an older brother who died when I was a toddler. Growing up, my parents would sometimes talk about Uncle Vicente. I knew about the accident in which he died.
I also knew from them how he lived. How much he loved music and to play his guitar. How hard-working he was. How he liked to tease. How infectious his joy was. I also knew he was almost blind.
Surgery didn’t help. He wore thick glasses, but still only managed to barely see. Uncle Vicente and his brother, my Uncle Daniel, took over a health food store the same year I was born. They sold natural products and fresh whole wheat bread baked daily. During that time, they stayed with my parents who lived several blocks away from the store. One evening, Uncle Vicente walked from the store to the house to tell my mom he’d be home late because he was waiting for the bread to finish baking. She was five months pregnant and home alone. He didn’t want her to worry.Continue reading