Uncle Matt

I thought he’d served in World War II, like his brothers. Turns out Matt was in the army during Korea.

I was drafted to help with the casket. It was the longest trek like that I’ve ever made, and the slick snow and the mud made it seem longer.

Two soldiers were there. One blew “Taps.” It was just simply perfect. The way it should be.

As the soldiers presented the flag to the family, the trees shook their snow on the crowd. There was no wind. We all laughed–an omen! From Uncle Matt.

When I left the luncheon to go home, outside with the other smokers was the most beautiful woman I’ve seen in months.

I keep forgetting how old I am.

== PT
Sent from my iPad

[Edit 2016.11.06:]

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the spirit of Uncle Matt was present at that time. I’ve been informed that some cultures believe that spirits linger on earth up to three days after a death. And I’m sure ghosts are some extended variation on that.

After the funeral, there was a luncheon at a nearby restaurant. As I was leaving the building, I held the door open for my dad’s wheelchair to pass. A woman standing next to me held the door as well. She was well-dressed, about 40, attractive, and smoking a cigarette on the restaurant deck. I didn’t recognize her as a member of the funeral party.

At that instant I suddenly felt a great intimacy with her. I can’t explain the feeling but it was very profound. Like “The Thunderbolt” in “The Godfather” movie where Michael is smitten with Appolonia.

For her part, the woman remained oblivious of me and I watched her leave the place shortly and get into her car and drive off. It never occurred to me until yesterday that maybe this feeling, too, was the spirit of uncle Matt.


“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

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2 Responses to Uncle Matt

  1. It was your Uncle Matt and his sense of humor. He served during the Korean war in Georgia as a cook. I didn’t know until he died that he wasn’t allowed to serve over seas being the last whole Peterman male of the family. His brother Fred was killed during WWII and his brother George came home wounded. ( both with Purple Hearts )
    Cindy told me this story after he died. Why he never mentioned it to me I don’t know.
    I do know this though, he didn’t have to serve but he did because he was proud of his brothers and the United States of America.
    We found his discharge papers during the funeral arrangements so the four of us decided it was proper for him during his burial.
    I was there and I watched the taps player play the taps so no one would see my tears.
    Cindy wanted you there and so did we.
    His flag along with Grand Pop’s and Freddy’s ( and Freddy’s Purple Heart ) are in the stair way to heaven at Susan’s house along with all the military artifacts he collected over the years.
    Susan did a really nice job preserving the history and I’m quite sure you are welcome to see it any time.

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