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Uncle Marty's Magic

When I saw Slow Down on zox.la, almost 2 months since I had lost my uncle and on the day that would have been his birthday, February 20th, I knew I had to have it and here's why. My uncle Marty was more than just a man... My uncle was my magician. And he shared his magic and his artwork many, many times with me over the years. Since I am his only niece, I have many of his paintings, but when I got married he gave me my most favorite painting of his... aptly named Slow Down. It depicts a beautiful hillside on Kauai with a sign saying “Slow Down”. I have always loved this painting because it was my constant reminder to be present in the moment and to slow down and breathe in the beauty of my life. My uncle taught me so many things about life and beauty, and even from a little girl, I could see the magic he held. His voice, his hands, his mind. Creating art, creating magic and bringing a little girl's dreams to life. His hands painted art that I could feel, art that made me feel the spray of the ocean waves, the softness of a lion's fur, the warmth of the sand. A voice that spun stories into reality. Stories that were real and that I could see, not just imagine. Through years many memories made and many experiences shared. From the ocean, to the waves, to the art studio... All places that seem simple or plain but to a little girl growing up were the same as a dreams greatest creation. As I grew up, I began to appreciate the things my uncle had to share with me with the mind of an adult but the magic never went away. The magic grew. Our relationship changed and we got closer. Phone calls happened weekly. Went from a few minutes to a few hours. Conversations became deeper and more thought provoking and through all of this my uncle remained my magician. One day these phone calls became shorter, less frequent. Sickness had made its way into our story. I understood that my time with my magician was running out. Every time I heard a story, even if I had heard it a million times before, it still held all the magic and wonder as the first time. Every touch was filled with magic and love from the hands of my magician, even if they were a little weaker. Every memory became my own as I now had to remind my magician of our grand adventures as his mind was taking them from him. And then the phone call, the phone call that shattered my world. My magician, my uncle. He was leaving this world. Nothing in the world would keep me from being there for my magician. So here I am. The end of my story, but I know is just the beginning of my uncle's. I have been able to say goodbye. And even though there have been years of gifts given through stories and memories and love and art. My magician gave me the greatest gift I have ever received. Without a word, just a simple squeeze of my hand, small nod of his head, little lift of his eyebrows. He told me everything I needed to know. He loves me. He always will love me. He will watch over me every day forever. He will be a part of everything I do. He gave me his magic. I could feel it. I felt it wrap me up and all the love he has for his niece wrapped up in that small short moment. And I will cherish this gift forever. As it is the greatest gift I've ever gotten. When I found Zox, I was drowning in the grief and sorrow and loss of my uncle, but being able to wear my Slow Down strap and outwardly carry my uncle and his legacy with me on my wrist is the most precious thing. And for that, I will always be grateful for Zox and my constant reminder to Slow Down and enjoy the magic of my life.

- JM