Saturday, March 4, 2017

SOLC17 4/31 Plus Celebrating A Life


         SOLC17 4/31 Thanks for the March Slice of Life challenge with the Two Writing Teachers community for Day Four of Thirty-One of the Slice of Life Challenge in March.  Thank you, Stacey, Beth, Deb, Betsy, Lanny, Kathleen, Lisa, and Melanie.   
         Today I also celebrate with Ruth Ayres and others at Discover Play Build. It's a good way to end the week sharing our celebrations.
    
               I had a wonderful childhood. Growing up with loving parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles made my life a happy one. My extended family was a big one, and those I saw most often were my mother's side of the family. She had five brothers and sisters, which means ten aunts and uncles! Until I was twelve, I lived in a little town in mid-Missouri and many relatives lived there too. Then my family and one aunt and uncle moved to the Kansas City area. We lived across the street from Aunt Carol and Uncle Caryl and their children, my cousins. By the time I was grown, they moved again to another neighborhood, this time next door to each other.  The two families were very close and I am still in touch with those remaining, all the cousins now grandparents as I am, living lives I don't know much about anymore. I did have one evening with them last summer, catching up as much as we could about the lives we live now. 

          This week, the last of those ten siblings and siblings-in-law passed. My Uncle Caryl. I'm celebrating his life with a few memories today. He was a very special uncle. Many happy hours stay in my memory of him.  Here are a few of them. 
         I remember him playing croquet and volleyball with all of us kids. He spent endless hours having fun with us when I now know he probably had other grown-up things that needed doing. 
        He took the time during some of the summers to rise early and take me into the city to teach me how to play tennis.  (There were no tennis courts nearby.) I was seven years older than my brother and even more years older than my uncle's children, so was a teen in a sea of kids. It was a gift that he took the time to teach me a game just for me.
        He showed me that one can have fun in the smallest of things. Often our families got together for what Uncle Caryl called Sunday's Silly Suppers. He made a huge celebration of making the best and the tastiest chocolate milkshakes in the mixer. That and popcorn became our Sunday treat every week.  
        When I went to college, my Uncle Caryl wrote me throughout that first year. They were little notes of support, and as I remember, seemed to come at just the right times.

          I'm sure that Uncle Caryl's family will miss him. They all live close to each other, and his passing will leave an empty spot. But I know in theirs, and in my own heart, he will always be remembered with love and appreciation. 

34 comments:

  1. Sorry for your loss, Linda. What a lovely tribute to someone so obviously special in your life. Sounds like he had lots of love in his heart and enjoyed spreading it around.

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    1. Yes, he did. He made life fun-filled in many ways. Thanks, Bob.

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  2. He sounds like a special man who as you noted, took time to find and give something special to you...among a sea of kids!

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    1. I was blessed to have him in my life, Anita. Thanks!

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  3. Your Uncle Caryl sounds like an extraordinary man. I am really touched by your memory of him taking you to tennis lessons...and, also, your memory of him writing to you at college - so giving, so caring! I am sorry for your loss. What a sad milestone, to have the last of that generation no longer alive. Thank you for sharing your memories with us.

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    1. He was a wonderful uncle, Maureen. Time moves on, and while I'm sad, I am also grateful for such grand older relatives in my life. Thanks!

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  4. What a kind and caring man. It's amazing the impact simple acts of kindness and caring can make on a child's life!

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    1. Yes, I agree. I won't forget them from this dear uncle. Thanks, Jane.

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  5. Beautiful celebration/remembrances. I wish we would all take the time to tell what the people in our lives mean to us. Thanks for sharing, Linda!

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    1. You're welcome, Earl. It is a celebration I couldn't ignore.

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  6. He sounds like a very special man indeed, Linda - no wonder you still hold those memories so close.

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    1. Thanks, Tara. He certainly was. I feel fortunate to have had him in my life.

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  7. Your uncle sounds like a really wonderful man, Linda. We are lucky when we have love like that in our families.

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    1. He was a wonderful man, Jennifer, and special in my life. Thanks.

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  8. So sorry for your loss. Wonderful that you had such a special person in your life. That's why we celebrate!

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    1. Yes, you are right! Thanks, Margaret.

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  9. Oh, Linda, I loved reading your memories of your Uncle Caryl. It's always sad when the last of a line dies. It's special that he took the time to teach you how to play tennis and to write letters to you at college. I think you must have had a special connection. And those Sunday Silly Suppers must have been fun for everyone!

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    1. It's all good to remember, too, Ramona. Thanks for enjoying those memories.

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  10. Linda, Uncle Caryl seemed like such a loving and supportive man. Your tribute to him is touching. Sunday Silly Suppers made me laugh but reminded me how important it is to connect with family. Have a wonderful weekend with your family.

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    1. Thanks, Carol, it is good to have family memories.

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  11. How blessed you were to have this uncle in your life! Those are wonderful memories. So sorry for your loss.

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    1. Thanks, Elsie. It was a good time during those childhood years, and my Uncle Caryl helped make that happen.

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  12. What a lovely tribute to your uncle! When I read this, I think about how big those "little" chocolate milkshake and popcorn moments really are.

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    1. Yes, just think how very long ago those were, and I still remember the fun of them. Thanks, Carol.

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  13. Uncle Caryl sounds like the perfect Uncle. I was making many connections as I read your post to family members that mirror Uncle Caryl. It served as a reminder to reach out.

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    1. Thanks, Kendra, I hope I'm making some of those memories with the grand-girls. I think of how much I loved being with all my relatives.

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  14. I'm sorry for the loss of your Uncle Caryl, Linda. I loved reading your memories of him. Sunday's silly suppers sound like so much fun! Now I'm craving a chocolate milkshake!

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    1. Ha! He made such a wonderful production of it, and we loved every bit. Thanks!

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  15. I imagine this is a tribute that would mean so much to him. You are blessed to have these happy memories. Thank you for sharing them with us.

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    1. You're welcome, Diane. I imagine he would chuckle over some of it. I actually did write him a few years ago and told him what fond memories I had with him and the family. I'm glad I did.

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  16. I love the way you paint a portrait of Uncle Caryl with your words. You have a lovely way of sharing your loved ones with us. I am so sorry to hear your news, but feel blessed to be introduced to Uncle Caryl.

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    1. Thanks, Christy, I imagine you'll know what I mean when I say it was an easy one to write. The memories are rich and vivid.

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  17. So enjoyed reading about your family! Uncle Caryl was incredible!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!