Uncle E

One of the people I admire most in this world is my uncle Eric, not least because he has, by some combination of determination and sheer force of will, lived through doses of heartache and disappointment so large as to seem unbearable. And not just lived through them but thrived, which both amazes and impresses me. I find him a remarkable man.

Over the past few days, we've had the following correspondence, a reminder both of our persistence (I can't go on. You can.) and of the strength of the net beneath me that has stopped short my fall.

From: Eric Wilska
Sent: Saturday, October 26, 2002 6:33 AM
To: Emily Wilska
Subject: package/Em

Hi Em, Question. If a certain uncle heard through the family grape vine that life had given a bit of a kick in the ass to a certain niece and the uncle wanted to send a fairly good sized package to the certain niece to help assuage the ass (and heart) pain would the certain uncle send the package to the Sanchez address per usual and be assured that said package would arrive accordingly or to a different address? Just wondering.....

From: Emily Wilska
Sent: Sunday, October 27, 2002 10:54 AM
To: Eric Wilska
Subject: RE: package/Em

Uncle E,

Answer: yes, the Sanchez address you have on file is indeed my latest and greatest, so anything sent to it will, sooner or later and given the vagaries of the USPS, reach me.

A certain niece got a bit teary reading an email from a certain uncle, so touched was she. Back in college, I read J.M. Coetzee's "Foe", and for some reason one simple line from it stuck in my head: "They say when trouble comes, close ranks." I've been thinking of that line over the past few weeks, marveling at how fully and completely my family and friends have rushed to surround and support me as things have fallen apart (and then fallen apart again). Now more than ever, I'm sad for what I've lost but immensely grateful for and in awe of all I still have.

Love you,

From: Eric Wilska
Sent: Sunday, October 27, 2002 2:02 PM
To: Emily Wilska
Subject: Re: package/Em

So, ok, package to follow. And I think often of a line from Woody Allen. No J.M. Coetze, is he, but then again, he's no dummy (to quote Poppa) when he said, "the heart wants what the heart wants." It's always been a mystery to me how (and why) the heart lags so far behind our rational sense. We can figure it all out, apply all sorts of logic to matters of the heart, yet still, we look over our shoulder and there's our heart panting furiously to keep even step with our brain. It's pathetic, really. But while I don't have an explanation for the phenomenon, I can tell you, in my experience, at least, it always does catch up. And I mean always. Remember the Robert Frost quote from Cathy's eulogy? "The best way out is always through." I have no doubt that you'll emerge from this heartache a superior human being. In the meantime, take hot baths, watch the Marx brothers and eat chocolate. And if you'll permit me to close ranks around you closely enough to whisper in your ear, I say to you softly and confidently, "everything...will... be...all...right..." Love you, love you, love you, Uncle E