Julius

Julius, your part of the family tapestry lies small beneath the stronger threads of your brother George’s woven pattern. Your warp threads continue in a warmer hue, fringed in naive waves. A soft brown strand of acquisitiveness and red streaks of rage are prominent in your tapestry. Yet woven across are golden and turquoise threads — your love of beautiful surroundings, and your artistic talents. You could paint a watercolor or design an Art Deco building. However, some of these strands are cut short because you withdraw, inarticulate, silent.

Julius, your tapestry too has pale pink threads pulled very tight. “No one appreciates me,” you said. Your Aunt Stella understood, you were the unsure middle child. Vertical strands of ice blue crossed red threads in your tapestry as anger tightened your breath to asthma. Julius, you did become a mischievous, bespectacled child, teasing, scheming with your brother George. Later, as you grew to manhood, you found joy in college friends and the admiration of girls — threads of primary colors danced across your tapestry.

Yet, all these colors swirl into concentric circles, swirling, swirling inward. You could not perceive the needs and feelings of others. You thought that your opinion was always right. Yes, you cared, you admired your wives, but you demanded their complete attention. Did you really know the best furniture arrangement for your daughter’s room, a name for the new baby, or where your son, and then your grand-son should attend school? And when your children frustrated you, your anger flared. Sometimes you indulged in cruel mocking: “Can’t the cat look at the queen?”– a zigzag pattern like lightning streaks across your tapestry, taunting, frustrating the eye. Later in your life, a black weave of tragedy and death haunted you, embittered you. When your beloved wife Vera died in an accident, your brown hair turned to white.

As you aged and colors paled; you could not tolerate any failure of your body or your heart. Like your Uncle Jule, you would not accept growing old with grace. You too shortened your life, because you could not accept a slower pace. As your tapestry neared completion, how sad that gossamer gray threads were woven with red strands of anger and pink threads of need — swirling, cutting across the pleasant colors and symmetry of your tapestry. You demanded — you condemned. You requested the gray-white ash of cremation. Julius, you left your descendants a legacy, but at the end instead of peace and wholeness, you felt despair.