*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a family member who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.
Everyone has that weird uncle, don’t they?
My weirdest uncle was actually my great-uncle, my grandfather’s brother, Kenny, and all of my memories of him were wild.
There was the time he accidentally blew up my grandmother’s microwave and almost burnt the house down because he left a spoon in a bowl. Then time he tried taking me waterskiing and I almost drowned, that was a fun memory, too. And how can anyone in the family forget the time he adopted a bobcat and kept it as a pet in a cage outside for years - like a crazy person.
To me, though, that doesn’t even come close to the craziest thing he ever did, and I wish I was there to see the family’s reaction.
When I was very young, Kenny was married to my great-aunt Pam, and unfortunately Pam got terrible stomach cancer and had a long, drawn out sickness.
Apparently, Pam told my uncle Kenny that she wanted him to go on without her after she died. They were both in their early thirties, they’d had no kids together yet, and he had his whole life ahead of him. Pam didn’t want Kenny to become a sad, lonely widow and encouraged him to date after she was gone.
No one could have suspected how fast he would do that, though.
Eventually, Pam passed away and the funeral followed - that’s when Kenny blew everyone’s mind.
Apparently, after the funeral was over and the mourners started departing the gravesite, Kenny pulled aside Lara, one of Pam’s friends. Lara wasn’t a close friend of Pam’s, but they had worked together for a while and that’s how Kenny casually got to know her.
Kenny led Lara by the arm away from his wife’s grave and promptly asked if she wanted to go out to dinner with him that weekend.
Lara was stunned. She couldn’t believe that Kenny would ask her out before his wife was even completely underground, and she stammered to him some excuse to not go out with him, which is probably for the best.
It’s hard for me to understand how a person could move on so quickly after their spouse passes away, unless perhaps he had come to terms with her death long before it happened.
Either way, what he did shocked the family, and we still talk about it and bring it up for the occasional laugh.
You could always count on Kenny for a laugh.