Monday, April 5, 2021

An American Boy With His Greek Communist Uncle

A few weeks ago my uncle Niko, the brother of my father, passed away, as I mentioned in my last post, and today I learned another uncle of mine, Philipa, the husband of my father's sister, died in Athens. Like my uncle Niko, I had not seen nor spoken with my uncle Philipa since 2001.

My uncle Philipa was an interesting character. Most of my stories with him go back to the summers of 1991 and 1992, when I spent some time with him.

What was interesting about my uncle Philipa was that he was a Greek communist, whose every fiber of his being was deeply political. And of all the members of my family, all his anger at both the government and ecclesiastical system was projected onto me. He wanted me, though I was only a fifteen year old American, to understand his perspective on politics and the Church. Why? I'm not sure. My thinking at the time was he either wanted me to believe things like him, because I seemed to be the only intellectual in the family, or he wanted someone like me to understand him and justify his thinking.