This is gonna be outside the norm for what I usually write here, but it’s on my mind so bear with me please.
My uncle David passed away last night at 11:10pm. He was a phenomenal guy….he really was.
David was the eldest of the five Keniry children, almost a year and half older than my father. There were three boys and two girls. Their mother Irene passed away from breast cancer when my Dad was 18, she was 47. I can only imagine how hard it was for the family to recover from such a devastating loss. My grandfather (father’s side) would visit my nana (mother’s side) at the coffee shop she worked at just for parenting tips and help with the daily routine. Through their hardship though, all five children managed to go to college and get a degree.
For me, processing the loss of a loved one doesn’t hit me in full force right away. Kinda like one of those slow release capsules. Maybe it’s the dark, morbid sense of humor that’s been ingrained in me, I don’t know. I was at work today when I decided I wanted to write about him. Not because I wanted it to be seen or read, but because I have a lot of great memories that I needed to somehow get out. Aside from talking to my family, this was only other platform I have…and I like to write.
When my Dad called me today it was the first thing I thought of. Shit, Davey passed away. My Dad started with some chit chat, but I had to interject.
“Did Uncle Dave pass away?”
“Yeah, at 11:10 last night.”
He had been sick, battling cancer that started in his prostate and eventually spread.
We talked a little bit after that and I told him I was gonna finish up my work and swing by.
My wife has been unfortunate enough to have dealt with similar circumstances. I’ve seen first hand the effect of countless hours, days and weeks spent at a hospital. Hope and dread seemingly intermingle before the inevitable outcome. An outcome no one is truly prepared for. It sucks. My heart goes out to Jan, Geoff, Devlyn, his grandkids, brothers and sisters…basically his family and friends who knew what a great guy he was.
So I also wanna remember the good times because there were a lot of them.
Our families would swap hosting duties on Thanksgiving. I’m not going to go into great detail here, but one memory should be in the forefront.
Our bellies were full and the tryptophan induced fatigue had started to subside. I say our, but I was still a young’un and was most likely speeding around the house like a madman. We were the guests that year and it was time to head home. My Mom corralled us kids, but we couldn’t find my Dad anywhere. With all of us gathered at the door, Uncle Dave turned on the outside light for us and lo behold there was my Dad! He was a half step off the walkway, pants unzipped and urinating on their lawn. It was perfect. I don’t remember everyone’s reactions, but it was not something I was gonna forget.
Uncle Dave was my introduction into softball after my illustrious baseball career was out of reach. He used to swing by and pick me up in Natick before we’d head to Framingham to play in a church league. Don’t ask me what a church league is…I just assumed everyone playing was devout (besides me of course).
Dave was also a fantastic softball player. He could hit to any part of the field and it wasn’t often that he wasn’t on base (is that a double negative?). His defensive prowess was also a match to his hitting. He owned the hot corner at third. Even the stories my Dad told me of their earlier years playing, it was the same. His myriad of tips stayed with me and helped immensely when I started playing in the Natick D1 league.
After the games, the team would head to Nobscot’s to recount our exploits on the diamond. I can still recall that anxious feeling, sitting at a table in the barroom as Davey went up to get us some post game beers (I was anywhere from 17-19 at the time). We would have a couple beers, yukking it up with our teammates before he’d drive me home afterwards. Now, maybe it was because I was an exceptional talent and he was just using me for team success, but I like to believe he wanted to spend time with me. We always had a great time and I cherish those memories.
From softball to golf…
It started with the St. Linus league at Pinecrest in Holliston. Pinecrest is a short 18 track boasting just one par 5. It was here, every Wednesday, we would congregate to play some shitty golf. It was also the birthplace of the Take A Peek nickname.
Gary DeAngelo gave him that moniker after he’d analyze his putt, set up and then pull away for just one more peek at the slope. We would tease him in the club house afterwards as he sipped his Sam Adams draft. Dave liked to give a bit of a confused expression before cracking a half smile, letting us know that it was all in good fun.
*After the golffolk ran my Dad outta the league with pitchforks and torches ablaze, we settled into the Tuesday golf league at Sassamon in Natick. Dave, Jimmy Mac and myself followed suit and we played in the same grouping for many years.
Golfing at Sassamon hasn’t been the same the last couple of years. The same way I can remember plays from our lunchtime skate, I can still remember tons of awesome golf shots from Dave. Granted he wasn’t a fantastic golfer (neither were any of us), but we all have those shots that find the bottom of the cup.
I remember a long uphill putt at the par 5 for birdie.
I remember the crazy bender he sank on hole 6.
I remember him chipping in on multiple holes.
I remember how he always crushed his drive on the ninth (and the sixth). So much so, that my Dad started asking to use his driver.
His butt wiggle before his shots.
The sweet baby draw he had.
Most of all though, I remember a kind man who always treated me well. You didn’t deserve this kind of ending.
Rest in peace Uncle Dave. I’m glad you’re not suffering anymore.
*The pitchforks and torches might be a slight exaggeration, but that’s a story for another day.