"We'll catch you on the flip-flop."

Today I got some news that I was kind of hoping for and dreading at the same time.  My dear Uncle Sam passed away this week.  The good news is, he went the way he wanted to go -- independently, in his own home, with little fuss and bother.  The bad news is, the selfish beings he left here in the physical must continue on without his humor and love to make the going easier.

I am so glad I moved out here to Denver and got to know my father's siblings and their spouses and my cousins.  Uncle Sam and Uncle Arch helped me to fix up the house. When I bought it, it needed new floors throughout and a new fence and the two of them helped me do it.  Two septuagenarians (both 72 at the time) labored over my new hardwood floor and cedar fence.  I'd feel guilty, except that pair of jokesters had so much fun doing it.  I know Sam didn't always have the best relationships with those he loved, but with me, he was always loving and supportive - even when I first showed up at one of our lunches at Olive Garden on my motorcycle.  He joked that I'd be causing accidents, since all the fellas would be rubbernecking to see the gal on a bike.  He was my AAA when I had a car that didn't automatically turn the lights off when the engine was turned off.  I would be coming home late from school and the battery would be dead, because I had left the lights on after driving in the snow, and he come out from Lakewood in the middle of the night to jump start my battery.  He had the best memory (until those last few years, anyways) and was a great storyteller.  The decline of his memory and independence was difficult to witness.  I am SO glad things worked out so that we could have that mini-reunion for his 80th birthday.  It was wonderful that everyone made an effort to get together and share the day.   I always think of Sam when I see a big rig and I think my dear sister put it best when she posted some lines from a C. W. McCall song:
And then everyone was asleep, except me. And as I saw the morning star come up over the mountains, I realized that life is just a collection of memories. And memories are like starlight: they go on forever.
We will miss you, Uncle Sam, you gave us some great memories.  Give Aunt Waneta a hug and a kiss from us.  Love, Annie


vince said...

Sometimes relationships with family members are difficult, even when we love them and they love us. I'm glad you got to spend the time you did with your uncle, and have such great memories.


Jennifer said...

Anne, I'm so sorry to hear this sad news about Uncle Sam...

Speaking as someone who hasn't had the opportunity to develop a great working and/or friendly relationship with many (any?) of my extended family, I'm so happy for you that you were able to have your Uncle Sam in your life, and that you made the effort to meet up with him and keep him current in your life outside of those times where you needed his help. I'm sure he loved you for your giant heart and great companionship! *HUG*

Carol Elaine said...