My mom found that note at random a few weeks ago, among piles and piles of saved paperwork in my uncle Dennis’ storage unit on Friday Harbor, Washington. I wrote it when I was six years old in response to some sort of model truck he sent me as a gift. Unfortunately, in the 22 years that passed since, I never got to meet my uncle. In early February, we found out he had passed away from COPD at the age of 61. Although my uncle and my mom were very close through their twenties, he slowly pulled away as the years went by. He moved from Oregon to Friday Harbor, Washington, a small island of roughly 2,000 inhabitants, and ran his own masonry business on the island for nearly 30 years. Even though communication had ceased, we sent him packages and gifts, called regularly, and mailed our annual Christmas letter in the hopes that he would at least keep my parents and I in his thoughts. As we started establishing a plan for visiting the island and putting Dennis to rest, my mom was able to get in touch with several key members of the small Friday Harbor community…. Read full this story
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