Uncle Louie’s obituary

12 Feb

My great uncle committed suicide yesterday, shot himself in the head. His wife Alice  found him dead in the house. There was no note, no explanation, just a pool of blood.

She called my grandma, her sister in law, sobbing.

As my mom came out of a Valentine’s dinner at the church with my dad, she saw ten missed calls on her cell phone, and knew something was wrong.

Later, in another room, I head her sharp breaths, her muffled “oh my god” as she heard what happened to her uncle.

My mom made sponge candy a few weeks ago. She sent it wrapped in a box to Uncle Louie because he loves sponge candy, just like his brother, my grandpa.

 The last time my mom saw him was at a funeral.

 “Money is hard right now,” he said.

But he was still the same larger than life person, the orphan who went from living on the streets to living in a mansion.

He was the American Dream.

Uncle Louie was a millionaire, maybe more. He had a mansion, an in-ground pool, cars, horses—everything.

He lost money, quite a bit of it, and was out of work for a year.

The only memory I have of him is sitting on the edge of his long in-ground pool with my feet dipped into the cool water. The party went on all around me, on the grounds of his Florida estate, and above the murmuring voices, I heard his laugh.

But money became his god. In the end, it took the shape of a bullet.

And it destroyed him.

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