Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Unc Marv

My last three posts have been of poems about suffering and death as I've been trying to process the loss of "Unc Marv" - my husband's Uncle Marv who always signed off on emails to us that way.

We lived about 300 miles apart, and we were in different seasons of life, so we didn't get to see each other much.  But I always tremendously enjoyed any time I got to spend with him.  He was fascinating to talk with, and he had the most beautiful speaking voice I have ever heard.  I'm having a hard time processing the fact that I won't be able to hear that voice again on earth, nor will the future conversations I had hoped to have with him ever come about now.

He was a world-class scholar - holding an endowed chair at Chapman University in Southern California - and frequently consulting for the National Geographic Society.  He spent time at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton.  One of his specialties was the Coptic language, and National Geographic called him in the help translate the recently rediscovered ancient text, the Gospel of Judas.  He'd been interviewed not only on the National Geographic Channel, but also on PBS, the BBC, A&E, NPR, the History Channel, etc.

Sometimes we would turn on the TV and - surprise! - hear Uncle Marv's unmistakable voice!  What fun!

Yet he was so humble, and he would listen with great interest as I talked about my enthusiasm for mathematics and poetry.  He was very down-to-earth, was so full of life, and had an amazing sense of humor.  I can still see the sparkle in his eye.

Though he was our uncle, he was only 17 years older than us, and his youngest child is only 4 years older than our oldest.  I hurt for them and for his wife, our Aunt Bonnie.

We used to joke about David and his uncle actually being twins.  There is that 17-year age difference, but there was an uncanny resemblance.  Though they don't quite do the resemblance justice I'm going to close out with a couple of pictures of the two of them.

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