grief: uncle rudy

When Rudy was home, there was music. Foot-stomping, hand-clapping, lounge-crooning, folk-lilting, country-dancing, all-type music.

I don’t remember much more. I was so little, and he moved so fast.

When Rudy was home, the grown ups moved fast too. They laughed and shook their heads at the same time. They nodded, sagely, warming. They were head-bopping, toe-tipping, finger-snapping, applauding.

They sat really close together, closer than they did any other time of year.

When Rudy was home, there was music.

And now, today, days after finding out, I strum my fingers over my ukulele and cry. I wish I remembered more, but it is such a big memory. All these moments, sitting close together, stretching in perpetual motion.

I strum to the memory. I echo back the listen.

I sing to myself:

When there is music in my home,
there is always, always, Rudy.