The response that I received in return was fascinating in its revisionist history: “Don’t you dare speak about my brother like that!! He was a great uncle to my kids!!”; and so on, in that vein. Needless to say, this led to a blowout between myself and him, in which I wrote a lengthy response. Interestingly enough, however, I never hit “send”, for some reason. Then, shortly before the election of Trump, I got a message from the same uncle, which boiled down to, “I can’t love you because you’re not a Republican”. That’s not an actual quote, but it summarizes his words pretty succinctly. It was only then – and this was a couple of years after I had written my previously mentioned response – that I finally sent my uncle the message that I hadn’t hit send on before.
But wait: this story gets weirder. A couple years back, my brother dies of an overdose. Literally no member of my father’s side of the family shows up for the funeral. This same uncle does send flowers, however, so my (step)mom – who has done an incredible job, along with the rest of her family, of being my family for the last thirty years – asks me for my uncle’s address. I can’t remember it at the time, so I text him to ask him for it, on my mom’s behalf.