In the month since my father-in-law's death, my sister-in-law, Patricia, has been going through one of the many journals kept by Red. While Red was a simple man, he was a deep thinker and often surprised us with his quips and wit.
So we are getting more of an appreciation of him by reading the daily notes he made in his journal. Not all are originals, but sayings that he decided were important enough to write in his book.
Patty hasn't gone very far through the books, but here are a sample of some of our favorites from his most recent writings. Some will require a paragraph or two of set-up so the reader will understand the context.
Some have a hint of poetry, some of great wisdom and some are just funny. Here's a partial early list. More to come.
In his last year, Red was mostly in his wheelchair. One day his three daughters were sitting around him talking with each other about household issues, shopping lists, etc. Suddenly after a long period of time of him listening to the conversation (and wanting to be wheeled into bed) Red, with a wry grin, said:
"Does anyone care about my problem?"
In discussing his future funeral plans Red was talking about the involvement in his plans of his nephew, Patrick, the funeral director.
"We want to see Patrick eye to eye"
In his last year there were many times that family, lots of them, converged on the small Uleskey household. A 900-square-foot tract home with one bathroom things could get crowded. At times groups would leave for shopping trips or to get away. One time Red said this and later wrote it in his book:
"I am glad they are all here but somewhere else."
During his last year, he had a "pic" line inserted into a vein for use in giving medicine and taking blood samples, or something like that. He offered this gem when told he was getting the line.
"We hope the pic line is not in 'vein'"
Sometimes Red took a break in a nice recliner chair in his Ham radio room, a spare bedroom on the first floor, which he called his "shack." One day his three daughters were searching for him and couldn't find him momentarily in the small home. The women were calling out to each other "Where's Dad?" A man's voice called out from the room:
"Where is your father? He's in the shack to be exact."
Red was undone about all the fuss that had to go on around him in his last year. You could tell he often tired of having people running around getting him things, helping him with his clothes, etc. This was what he wrote in his journal:
"There's only one of me and maybe that's one too many."
Another thing he got fed up with was the many pills and medicines he had to take. Thus this little note penned into the book:
"I am all pilled out."
Some of the items need little or no explanation.
"We're lost but we know where we are"
"There's no place like home"
"Mom's late for mammogram - I think we can squeeze it in"
"I can't afford to get frisky, I've got too much money in the bank"
"Only cry when it hurts"
"What's the difference between a yam and a sweet potato, who gives a yam!"
"Too late we get smart"
"Don't follow too close" a quote from a cemetery stone ("I'll live up to it")
"Iraq - frought for naught" (I believe the misspelling was deliberate - a combination of fraught and fought)
"I can fix anything that works"
"It's a women's prerogative to change her mind, that's why the asylums are 90% full of married men!!"
"That's the way of that"
"Love takes sincerity"
"Life is but a matter of time"
"Don't waste your time unless it improves your mind"
"Enjoy the moment, everyone"
"My body got so old it doesn't tell me anymore about aches and pains"
"No one is exempt from being polite"