Remembering Uncle Lewis

Writing Between the Lines

One of my earliest memories is of dinner at Grandma Rose’s house.  Her towels, furniture, and closets smelled of mothballs; she even stored her silverware in mothballs.  Mostly, though, I recall standing on Grandma’s couch to study the framed collage of black and white photographs on her wall.  I recognized my father, but knew the other boy in the pictures only by name, and by heart.

Uncle Lewis was my father’s only sibling, younger than my dad by ten years.  We never met, and Daddy never spoke of him.  But they were best friends.  In one picture Lewis was laughing, having been surprised on the toilet by my father with his camera.  The brothers teased Grandma too.  Lewis would yell, “Harry, stop hitting me!”  Grandma would rush in, and scold my father for picking on his little brother.  Undaunted, they’d laugh and repeat, until Grandma caught on.

Soon after the…

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  1. scillagrace says:

    Such a personal and interesting slice of history. Ironic that Lewis and my sister Alice were both 20 when they died, but in such a different era and circumstance. Wonderful old photos and letters…my father finally shared some of his family’s past with me in written form shortly before Alzheimer’s set in. Those original sources are so precious. I have to remember this and never discard the ones of my late husband….

    1. Dear Scilla,
      I am SO glad that your father shared some of his memories with you before it was too late. They are a precious legacy. And anything you have that will help your children know and understand their father will be just as precious.

  2. what a beautiful sad story and that top picture!!!! hehehe, dont we all have one of those – I Have (hidden away).

    1. You have to love the infamous Bare Rug Photo! Thank you so much for your visit, and for taking the time to comment.

  3. adinparadise says:

    I remember your post, Naomi, and my response too. Love the baby pic. My son and his cousin have them too. 🙂

    1. Dear Sylvia,
      I had to take a “bare rug” photo of my kids too, and carry on the family tradition. Thank you for visiting and, as always, your kind comments.

  4. There are always moments to remember…
    emotions that have scratched deep wounds in our hearts…
    Sorrow, perhaps more than happiness, has the power to temper the human soul.
    No, Naomi, there shouldn’t be war… nowhere… in any continent…
    and yet the same obsession you find it, today, in the pages of every newspaper.
    Man is irreverent, he doesn’t look to the “right of life” of each of us…
    man thinks he can handle life and death… while losing touch with reality itself that will see him, life after life, returning into a new body to suffer… again and again. Your words touched me deeply…

    1. Dear Claudine,

      What a tender heart you have. It’s hard not to get discouraged when you see the same mistakes being made over and over again. I think that’s why I wrote this piece. It is important to put a face on the victims of war, to remind people that every soldier sent off to fight is some mother’s son, and the same is true for the civilians who are harmed by these conflicts, both at home and on the edges of the the battlefield.

      Thank you so much for your eloquent and thoughtful response.

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