Without her, he was like a leaf caught in a storm. He was absolutely devastated, and would sit for hours weeping and wailing her name over and over again. My mother finally convinced him to go see his family doctor and despite his misgivings the doctor prescribed a little help for him.
Well, I think what he got was Zoloft, but they might as well have given him Viagra. He was a new man! Two months after my aunt passed away, my mother called me one night and declared that my uncle had gone insane.
"Your uncle, it seems, has decided that he's going to find himself a new wife!" said my mother. "And that's not all of it. He has grown a mustache." The disgust in her voice was barely disguised.
"A mustache? What in the world...."
"And that's not the worst part. He calls it...his tickler." She burst out laughing.
Seriously? His tickler? All these horrible visions came coursing through my brain until I lost all ability to speak.
Sure enough, when I went to see him the following weekend he had grown the worst looking pornstache I have ever, ever seen. Imagine, if you will, a balding grey-haired 80-something man with a ruddy face rocking a brown mustache somewhat reminiscent of Tom Selleck. It was simply put - horrible.
Oh, he was proud of it though. He believed that the ladies who were standing in line nightly to bring casseroles and various food offerings were just dying to be one-on-one with his Tickler.
Such wasn't the case, however. Everyone had loved my aunt so much that they continued paying their respects for months after the funeral. And my uncle, whom my aunt had kept so nattily dressed for years, had pretty much started looking pretty shabby. His typical outfit was a pair of stained pants, a rumpled shirt, hopefully a belt, and some holey shoes. Everyone felt sorry for the former preacher, so he was visited daily by groups of little old ladies from the church.
One day, however, the visits came to an abrupt halt. UW was completely befuddled. Where had all of his legions of female admirers gone?
Word slowly drifted back to my father through the neighborhood wags that apparently one day a carload of female admirers had come bearing gifts of Corningware loaded down with various casseroles surely involving cream-of-something-or-other soup. Dutifully, they filed up the front walkway and crowding onto the small concrete porch one of the ladies pushed the doorbell and they waited.
What came afterwards is something no man of the cloth would ever dream of doing. My uncle answered the door dressed in nothing but a short, yellow robe. Said robe was apparently a few inches short of covering his manhood.
Little Woodrow was out there for God and all of Creation to behold.
According to the neighbor, the casserole dishes were quickly deposited on the dining room table, and the women were so anxious to leave that they almost backed into the yard across the street.
Sadly, the endless parade of goodies came to an abrupt end, and eventually UW shaved off his Tickler. It wasn't working anymore.