So Long, Uncle Phil
At 3:12 this morning, Mrs. P's Uncle Phil departed this mortal coil.
Uncle Phil was looking forward to having his 90th birthday party this coming August. He promised he'd try to make it.
A living Horatio Alger, he rose from relative poverty to achieve a fairly comfortable if non-ostentatious lifestyle. Extravagance wasn't his mien. He worked too hard to spend it on frivolousness.
Uncle Phil was an Orange County Republican long before Richard Nixon coopted them through the White refugees flooding in to the OC after the Watts riots in South Central LA and made them into the bigoted quasi-supremacist mass they are now. I never once heard Uncle Phil make a derogatory comment about anyone in particular, for he didn't believe that a Christian should speak ill. Even so, he didn't suffer fools well. His most profound statement was an observation about people in general - which if you think about it, tends to describe things all too well: "People are stupid - and they're no damn good!"
As a Christian, he was devout, but he didn't believe in forcing his beliefs on anyone. A patriot, he strongly believed in the tradtional American system, and was not pleased about what was being done to it in the name of homeland security.
Phil was very much in love with his wife of over thirty years. A very gentle man, he took into his life an abused woman who never felt loved in her life. He was very protective of her, as he was anyone who needed protection. It is a telling fact that they met in a hospital, where wife Elsa was a nurse caring for the dying mother of Phil's deceased first wife. That was the kind of man Uncle Phil was. He was there for you if you were truly in need - and he never asked even for recognition. It's what a Christian would do.
He was an extremely generous man, a tolerant man, a forgiving man. I wish it were possible to distill his essence and infect those charlatains and Pharissees who claim to be Christians even as their actions scream otherwise.
You were much loved, Uncle Phil, and you will be sorely missed - not only by the large and still-growing extended family you sired, but by those such as I you willingly and freely took in as if equal to your own. Knowing you was one of the highlights of my life, which was greatly enriched because we crossed paths.