Quiet Giver

Last year, the stone wall that my Grandfather built to separate my grandparents upper garden from the lower level, crumbled and collapsed. My Grandmother was devastated. Devastated for beloved her garden and for losing something my Grandfather had lovingly created so many years ago.

My mom sent a few different masons over, their prices outrageous- the wall remained a pile of rubble until my Uncle John quietly began to rebuild. He worked on his own, day after day, rebuilding the wall. When he had carefully replaced all of the stones, the wall was once again whole and more solid than ever.

My Uncle John never bragged about his work, never expected praise or recognition. He has always been a quiet giver.

For as long as I can remember, my Uncle John has been a fisherman. His time by the sea led to walks, which resulted in a passion for collecting sea glass. There have been many times he’d be sitting in my Grandma’s backyard, quietly. Then he’d, out of nowhere, stand to fish something out of his pocket, a rare piece of sea glass found on his latest hunt.

At Thanksgiving, he came to our makeshift celebration, out on our patio, socially distanced around our space heater on the unseasonably warm day. Before he ever came into our backyard, he had handed Rose a small plastic bag filled with found treasures from the beach- small toys left behind by other children or washed to shore from some other place. This was a common occurrence.

My uncle has been fighting for his life after testing positive for Covid a few weeks ago. He’s been alone, in two different ICUs, for almost two weeks. I keep picturing him there, quiet and alone.

I have cried so many tears at random times in the last few weeks. Tears for my uncle, the quiet giver, wishing we could give him comfort, a cure, a hand on the shoulder to let him know we are here.

I have cried quiet tears for my mom, who has been a champion of my uncle in his best and worst of times. She’s had to give more than most siblings, modeling unconditional love and acceptance always.

The tears have also come for my 92 year old grandmother, worried about her grown up baby boy. She has been through so much in her 92 years. This feels unfair.

I’ve also cried for the millions of people who have been impacted by covid in the last year. It is heartbreaking to think of all of the people suffering and alone. The families waiting for updates, hoping for the best. The patients, alone in hospital beds. The doctors and nurses, working tirelessly.

Every day, the numbers are reported. We all see the data. Each of those numbers has a name and a family.

If I get the chance to be in the same room with my uncle, I want him to know that his life matters. I hope he knows he matters.

16 thoughts on “Quiet Giver

  1. I’ve been thinking so much about you and your uncle and your family. This piece helped me to know just a little bit about this man. He sounds like a special person. A person who does not deserve to be sick and alone. I’m sending you positive energy in hope that your uncle will beat this horrible disease.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wishing a speedy recovery to your Uncle. A person who gives quietly will surely get a lot of positive energy from the Universe and will recover soon. You must be feeling awful but take heart, he will be soon collecting those little treasures by the sea.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I will pray for your uncle. You painted such a beautiful picture of him with your words. Your point about a story behind each number resonates- the numbers are cold and faceless but when we remember every Uncle John that is affected, it makes this all so much more important, real and sad. I hope so much he can get better and you get the chance to see him again.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A beautiful story about a simply loved man. We don’t have to make noise in this world to be noticed and loved. I could see him standing their fishing. I could see his smile too. Thank you for sharing. Prayers that he is able to come back strong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have replayed this comment in my head since I fist read it yesterday. How true, we do not need to make a lot of noise to be loved and noticed. Thank you for sharing your words.


  5. Your beautiful title drew me in and the image of slowly, quietly rebuilding the wall without fanfare will stay with me. Your piece then expands out in powerful compassion for your Uncle John and all the others you find yourself crying for.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh Jessica. What a lovely piece about your uncle. I am taken by the images and ideas of him fishing and giving. I notice the ebbs and flows in your writing and your tears. If one more prayer will help, I add mine; and, like you, I will add this particular prayer to prayers for us all to remember what – and who – matters.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s