Yesterday, we sifted through ULOB’s apartment for momentos. And lasting evidence of his life on earth.
He has no children; his DNA doesn’t survive. He once said to Mom, in response to her question, “Don’t you want children?”
“I have yours.”
We, his nieces and nephew, need to preserve the memory of his life.
He was a dancer, a writer, a painter and a playwright. He said he never worked a day in his life, because he loved what he did and he would have done it for free.
We were kids and he was a giant. Fun, hip and he adored us. And we adored him.
And then we grew up and our worlds expanded and his contracted. And then the old days kept us together. But not new days.
ULOB came to my office a few months ago. He wanted me to have his memoirs. He looked around and was amazed at my office and the law firm.
He was proud of “the kids” as SOB, BOB and I were called so long ago. He had never said that to me before. I don’t know if he ever said that to my siblings.
“Baby, you deserve everything in the world,” he said in his showman way.
There we were — a seemingly penniless old dancer and seemingly successful lawyer — being proud of each other even though we made opposite choices in life.
He spent a lot of time with us after AROB died, but, ultimately, her death and his realization that he was no longer self-sufficient were too over-whelming for him to continue for long.
When we left his apartment, arms filled with his writings and pictures, I imagined him in his youth, exiting the stage to wild applause.