A simple story below the cut…
This time I’ll tell you about my uncle.
This time it’ll actually be short! Ha…
My uncle’s name is Clark Mitchell. I can’t remember what unit he was any of the wars he was in, but he served in WWII (before I was born) and the Korean War. He was my father’s younger brother, and personally, my favorite family member.
He was always very silly. He liked to make us all laugh and often times he picked me up and held me upside down until I collapsed from a fit of giggles.
I remember my parents telling me that my birth actually helped his PTSD, brought on by WWII. That’s pretty empowering, knowing that just being there helped someone feel better.
I was also told when I was very young that I was named for him. While he was overseas, he wrote a letter to my parents, telling them to name their second child after him, regardless of whether or not he came back. Since I was born a girl, he told them to name me Catheryn, strange spelling and all.
The nickname Catty came about when he came home. He told us on the way back to the house, he saw a small, curly haired brown and white kitten (Added to that, the first three letters of my name spelled ‘Cat’). When he came home, as my sister would say, I was ‘screaming my lungs out’.
The first time he held me, he said “Hello, little Catty!”
He was granted extremely strange looks from my parents.
He looked at them with an embarrassed smile and said “It’s a long story, heh!…”
The nickname pretty much stuck. That’s all I’m ever called anymore, except by my parents.
The years began to pass, and I was constantly told that I was looking more like my uncle each day. They told me I had his curly, chocolate-brown hair, a similar hazel-brown eye color, the same smile. Now that I look back on it, with my hair so short like this, I’m basically his spitting image.
As I grew up, my uncle became my best friend. We often pulled pranks together, the objects of our jokes usually my stiff aunts from my mother’s side. We usually didn’t get caught, but if we did, he took the blame. But then we just went right back at it once they were done reprimanding us.
That’s everybody loved about the two of us, we able to bounce right back, no matter what.
Eventually, when he got married, I was the flower girl. And when his kids were born, I was waiting outside with him, telling him that his wife is fine and there’s nothing to worry about.
And as I got into my early teens, he taught me how to shoot a rifle and how to protect myself.
When he left for Korea, I was sad to see him go, but I knew he was going to come back.
But I was wrong, so wrong.
He was killed by crossfire, trying to drag his teammate to a Medic.
That was one of the few times where I cried due to so much pain and sadness.
My uncle’s wife told me to accept the flag when he came home.
When I did, big fat tears were rolling down my face. Forget about almost being 19, this is a time where I really just need to let it out.
It was not too long after that I did my first job.
It was not too long after my first job that I ran away.
And it wasn’t too long ago that I asked Gavin’s advice.
And it wasn’t too long after I asked Gavin’s advice that I came to Teufort.
So in the end, I have Uncle Clark to thank for my new life.
I’m thankful for it.