Sunday, July 31, 2011


As writers, backup is a dominate word in our world. When was your last backup? My computer was backed-up July 23, but that's not the only backup I mean.

Backup is an interesting compound word. Like many things in the English language, there's a multitude of opportunities for this compound or phrase. How many things require a backup? How often do we back up and when?

This week I attended the funeral of my uncle. In precious moments when I got lost in my thoughts, I rifled through memories. My uncle's nickname for me was Backdoor because I always came in their backdoor. I still do though I'm discouraged--that door isn't really in use--but I always will. Certain memories are precious.

My aunt died last fall; thus, I have officially lost my backup parents. I have many wonderful aunts and uncles, but this pair, they were my safety zone. Under the duress of teenage imagination, I plotted to flee to their protection if ever I was in trouble. I'm not alone. My sisters did the same, and I believe a few friends of their children considered that home a safe house.

At the funeral, during the final song "Come Sail Away," by Styx, a particular memory came alive. In high school I fell in love with this song. Later, I found out that my uncle loved it as well. Around the same time, I found out his daughter didn't have a father-daughter dance at her wedding (as there was no dancing).

I requested this song at my sister's wedding and successfully dragged my uncle to the dance floor, a twinkle in my eye. This was not a simple act. No simple please was sufficient. With my aunt grinning at us, I pleaded, begged, insisted, tugged until finally he relented. My cousin cut-in as previously planned and danced with her father. I was her wing-man--her backup helping her back up to make a memory.

As the music played Tuesday, I expected to sob, but instead I smiled--all the way to the bottom of my soul--savoring the memory archived there in the most important backup.