Thursday, January 12, 2017

Hug the people you love

My sister knows how much I love cats so she got me a darling calendar with the pages you tear off each day. Here was yesterday's page.

That quote really hit home as we have had to say our final farewell to a favorite uncle and some very good friends in the past couple months. My Uncle Jim was a character for as long as I knew him. I featured this picture of Jim (on the left) with my Dad, his older brother - by 16 months - in an earlier blog post.

Uncle Jim on left and my Dad
I understand he babysat for me when I was a young girl and we were living in Baltimore. How I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall to witness a few of those babysitting sessions. He loved hats and was rarely seen without one, and had an eclectic fashion sense that usually paired plaids with stripes. 

At a Pittsburgh Pirates game with Uncle Jim and Aunt Barbara
He and his siblings had a tough life but he never focused on that. His father passed away at the age of 41 when Uncle Jim was 13 and my Dad was 14. As the two eldest in a family that included six children, it fell to them to help their mother maintain equilibrium. He remained a bachelor into his 40's and I remember visits to see him in his pre-marriage days. He would be sequestered away, tapping on his typewriter. He kept this love of the written word all his life despite spending much of his professional life with numbers. Many years later, he wrote a biography about my father which I cherish as a reminder of details I never asked.

Uncle Jim had an intense curiosity that gave him an endless fascination with just about anything and made him one of the best conversationalists I have ever met. I will miss his jaunty walk, sly sense of humor and commentary on the world-at-large.



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