“Ok, honey,” he said, heaviness in his voice. I knew he thought me naive, but, especially in that moment, there was nothing anyone in my family could have done to convince me otherwise. “We’ll talk tomorrow.”
“Ok, dad,” I answered. “I love you…”
“Love you too.” And the phone clicked off. I sat on a cobblestone step, built into the street, and thought for a while before returning home.
Over the next few weeks, I spent countless hours on the phone with my family. My uncle was the hardest person to talk to. He wasn’t related to me by blood, but he and my aunt had always been like another set of parents for me. He was so upset about what had happened, about involving (and, in his mind, failing) me.
Since early childhood, I had spent countless nights with them at their home in my City as well as months almost every summer with them in some European local. They based themselves out of London, and virtually only returned Stateside to be with me.
If you’re wondering about the history here, I will say what I can without revealing too much about who these family members are. They became extravagantly wealthy through investing (apparently in a somewhat underhanded manner). Until the early 90’s when the FCC pulled his and his partner’s licenses, my uncle was an accountant/advisor. They are currently (last I heard) part of a small group that is being sued by the US government for a sum just shy of 1 billion dollars.
Whether or not they are as involved as being accused of (or aware), I do not know and thusly cannot comment. However, apart from this seemingly negative part of their life, they were always extremely generous. Donating grandiose amounts of money to hospitals, the arts, education, children, research, and the Catholic Church. To me, they were always wonderful people. And always will be – even though they no longer talk to me.