Uncle Macario (Uyoan Cayong) was of all my grand uncles my favorite. When others would pay me no mind, Uncle Cayong would take the time to spoil me in ways others never would. How excited I would get when I would see Uncle Cayong.
“Billy, how are you? Do you want to buy ice cream?” Uncle would say as he rubbed my head with his warm hand, Oh YES uncle! I would respond with a giant smile on my face. “Okay, you go to the car” he would say motioning with his hand toward his car parked at the curb.
Uncle drove what then seemed like huge shiny black car that had big heavy doors and windows I was too short to see out of. I would have to stretch my tiny body upward pushing on the seat with my hands to look out the window. “Here we go” uncle would say as he started the car, jetting the gas just a bit. Vroom, the engine would roar and off we would go driving down the street to the local ice cream shop.
It was he, my Uncle Cayong, who would be the one to teach me;
“The Power of Money.”
I was playing outside my Lola’s (grandmothers) house on 11th avenue in the San Francisco Richmond District when it happened again, as often it did, and like so many times before I would run crying and holding my nose thinking I was going to die. But unlike times before Uncle Cayong was visiting.
I ran up the staircase of my Lola house, opened the front door and ran into the house, I ran to the bathroom pushing a bathroom door, it opened with a thump as it hit the wall. waahhhhhh I cried as I pulled toilet paper from the roll. “Hoi! What’s wrong! “Uncle Cayong said. Blubbering with tearing eyes I turned toward him and lean my head back to show him. My nose is bleeding uncle, am I going to die? I asked.
“Huh!” He said as he inspected my bleeding nose, “no you will not die”. He laughed, “Come with me, I will show you some magic uncle said”. He led me to the living room. “Here you lay down to the couch” uncle instructed. As I laid there sniffling back the blood that was still streaming from my nose, Uncle Cayong reached into his pocket and produced a shiny liberty silver dollar. “You see this coin?” Yes uncle I responded, ” This is a magic, okay, I will put this coin to your forehead and in a while your nose will stop to bleeding.” Uncle placed the coin on my forehead, smiled and said; “when your nose stops to bleeding you can have the coin”.
Uncle walked back to the kitchen where my Lola was and there I laid trying to roll my eye up attempting to see the silver dollar on my forehead. Soon I had forgotten about my nose bleed and was thinking about all the candy I would buy with that shiny silver dollar.
And just like magic, my nose bleed stopped and off to the store I ran with my shiny silver dollar. The power of money, a lesson I have never forgotten.
Uncle if you can hear me I love you and miss you, see you in heaven when I get there.