With the recent passing of Dr. Jerry Buss, the legendary owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, I’ve been reflecting on the importance of remembering loved ones who may be gone but certainly not forgotten.
Like my Uncle Mickey who left us in 2003. Also know as Dr. Cook by his WWII comrades, I fondly remember our weekly talks and brisk walks around the nursing home where he spent his final days.
And although he suffered from an unsympathetic Alzheimer’s disease that made him progressively distant each time I visited, Uncle Mickey remained ever so sweet, benevolent and respectful to everyone he met. Not to mention his charming old school ways – he wore a three piece suit every single day until he could no longer dress himself – and his school-boy crush on Avril Lavigne!
Little did I know that 10 years later I would find this poem I wrote for him the day he passed:
Ode to Mickey
Sitting in my chair, bent head held low,
Oh what I’ve seen, from this window seat row
This is my story, no fear for me now,
Can’t wait for my walks, with my nephew so proud
Cold wars, New York terror, amazing Ali,
Just like my true brethren, please let me be me
Hold onto the past, try not to be seen,
Smile time for my chats, with sweet Avril Lavigne
Nobody can hear me, I’m in the abyss,
What did I do, what in life did I miss
This world did I change, like the high rolling seas,
No chance for me now, against this ugly disease
But worry none friends, fight hard, freedom ring,
Keep faith til the end, cause in life we’re all Kings.
RIP Uncle Mickey (and Dr. Buss)…I’ll always remember you! – R