My Uncles’ Retirement


photo from by Andrew Robb

My Uncle and Aunt just left my house, it was the first time I had seen them since they moved east, to Prince Edward Island.

I have always been very close to my father’s brother, as we have grown older we have formed a bond. We have a lot in common, enjoy many of the same things, so time with my Uncle has always been time well spent for me.

He has looked forward to his retirement for many years and I have looked forward to it with him, for him. We had plans, we were going to get around to many of the things we had talked about for years, music, fishing trips. My wife and I were even looking into buy the house right next to my Uncle and Aunts place.

Then one day last spring I was at my Uncle’s place helping him redo the roof on his shed when he announced that he and my Aunt were moving to PEI. It was literally like a slap in the face, I did not know what to say or do, so I just finished the roof and went home in a daze.

To me it was a fool hardy idea. You do not sell your house and move a thousand kilometers away from your family in the later years of your life. What if something should happen to one of them? What if either one of them took sick? who would be there to take care of them? It was crazy! They should be winding down, not moving away.

I ranted to my wife, ranted to my cousins (his children), ranted to my kids, then just ignored the whole situation.

But then my Uncle’s house sold. Then they showed us pictures of the house they had bought in PEI. Then I was helping load a moving truck. Then they were gone.

I will not go into how emotional it all was. You see I have lost a lot of my family and to me this was just another part of my family that I was losing.

As my Aunt and Uncle left tonight after a wonderful visit (you never really know how much you miss someone until you see them again), I watched them out my screen door. My Uncle went down the stairs of my front porch then turned around, took my Aunt’s hand and helped her down the stairs. They held hands all the way to the car. It dawned on me as I watched them, they were in love again. They had not moved away so much as started a new life, a new adventure, most of all they were happy. Happier then I can remember them being in a long time. I had been so caught up in being selfish I hadn’t realized it was their lives and they knew what was best for them.

During our visit tonight my Uncle told us, with a big smile, that he and my Aunt had bought a trailer and they were going to go south this winter. My Son-in-Law asked for how long, he shrugged and laughed “Until we get tired of it, then we will turn around and come home!”. I finally understand that he has found the happiness that he worked all his life for.

But I sure do miss him.



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