Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The circus is falling down on it's knees

Sunday morning at midnight, my uncle Paul was hit by a car.
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Largo man killed in DUI hit-and-run

CITIZEN STAFF

KEY LARGO — A Key Largo man was killed while trying to cross the Overseas Highway on foot early Sunday by a suspected drunk driver who fled the scene.

Paul H. Seagraves, 54, was crossing the northbound lane near Mile Marker 99.4 about midnight when he was hit by the side-view mirror of a sport utility vehicle. He was lying in the road, screaming for help, when an approaching motorcyclist who didn't see him ran over him, witnesses told deputies.

The SUV driver, Marco Antonio Mole, 50, of Houston, was charged with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of a fatal crash. Mole ignored the pursuing deputy, but eventually turned into a parking lot and stopped, reports say. Mole admitted he had "just hit a guy in the middle of the road," reports said.

Mole said he'd had four vodka drinks an hour before the accident and fled the scene because he was scared, reports said. Troopers said Mole was unsteady, slurred his speech, had bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol, reports said. He was taken to Mariners Hospital in Tavernier for an alcohol-blood test.

The 38-year-old Miramar man driving the 1997 Kawasaki motorcycle was not charged. Deputies say Seagraves was wearing dark clothes, it was cloudy, and there are no street lights where Mole hit Seagraves.
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My uncle Paul is who is commonly referred to as the black sheep of a family. He was injured while in service to his country in the early 80's, and soon after developed an addiction to pain killers. He's been a goner ever since. He's been mostly homeless or in jail since 1990, and I've only heard him once in the last 15 years when his speech wasn't slurred. Most of the family didn't speak to him, and we usually didn't know where he was, but mom did. We knew where he was living and tried to keep in touch, at times much to our chagrin. Last Christmas, '04, Paul decided he wanted to come and visit for a couple of days. It was nearly a disaster. He fussed and complained. Here's a man who was around 55 years old, no teeth (even though he could have gotten dentures from the VA for $100), thin as a rail and barely able to walk. Basically the same as having a three-year-old in the house, only more demanding and more moody. It was a tough 5 days, but I gave him grace, even though, because of our family history, I know he didn't "deserve" it. On the last day of his visit, before he was getting on a plane to go back to Key Largo, we were having a horrible day. Arguements, lost tempers, etc, but I stayed nice to him and kept the peace as best I could. My brother and I were installing mom's new chandelier that I got her for Christmas, when Paul came in the room with my guitar and sat down and began to play. Paul has been an awesome musician for as long as I can remember. He used to live in Nashville, and jammed with a bunch of musicians who hold legendary status, including Gregg Allman, Charlie Daniels, and Earl Scruggs. He recorded an album a long time ago, and he was awesome. Anyway...Paul comes in with my guitar and starts to play. He played some old boogie and blues tunes that he knew from long ago, and...

And then he plays this song. I don't remember much about it, but it was about God and...I remember John and I staring at each other. I remember this calm that came over the house, and how Paul poured his heart out into that song. Just like he always did. I guess just for a moment it felt like things were...normal, I guess. Like Paul could get a second chance on life, on family...

I just wish I had another chance to go and make him feel like family. It really sucks that he died the same way that he lived. Alone. And in pain.

I'm so sorry, Uncle Paul.

1 comment:

Bri said...

Pat,

I'm so sorry to hear about your uncle. I am glad, though, that you have that good memory of him singing and playing your guitar. Email me or IM me if you need or want to talk...