A Special Connection

A couple of months ago I received some very sad news about my Uncle Kris. I was told that he has lung cancer. He’s well into his eighties, and though he’s lived a long and prosperous life, it still saddens our family to think that it won’t be long before he won’t be with us anymore.

The other night, for the first time ever, I had a dream about my Uncle Kris. It was such a silly dream, but it was strange, because in my entire life he’s never been in my dreams. It gave me pause and has caused me to believe that the time has come for me to blog about him; for after all, he is someone who is dear to my heart, and I never before realized how much until I awakened from my dream.

My Uncle Kris was married to my Aunt Gert, who was the sister of my mother. My mother, my Aunt Gert, and my father are long gone now, all having departed to their heavenly reward years ago. But the memories I have of my parents and my aunt and uncle sitting on the porch watching while all of us cousins laughed and played together on my cousins’ swing set or played tag or kick ball are still vivid to me. Another memory I’ll always have is of my parents, grandparents, and Aunt Gert and Uncle Kris sitting around the table, drinking their beer, and playing cards. Oh, how they loved to play cards together!

My mom and her sister, Gertrude, were very close, having been the only two children that my grandparents had. Our two families would always get together for the major holidays; as a matter of fact, our families were together even more often than that.

A good part of the time we had the gatherings at my Uncle Kris’ house because they were the only ones who had a large enough space to accommodate everyone. After all, with their four children, my parents’ seven children, plus my grandma and grandpa, it was quite a large gathering. Yes, even though it was a little crowded and somewhat noisy, we were always happy, as long as we were together.

     A family get-together when we were young (Uncle Kris took the picture)

Besides that, we loved going to Uncle Kris’ house because they had a swing set in their back yard. Not only that, but their basement was finished off, complete with a pool table and record player for the older kids. We thought it was the greatest place to be, and we were always sad to go home.

I loved my aunt and uncle like they were my second parents, and I still love my Uncle Kris in that way. When I was young, I used to stay overnight at my aunt and uncle’s house because their daughter, my cousin Sandy, was only two weeks younger than me. As a matter of fact, if she had been born before me, her name would have been Cindy and mine would have been Sandy, but that’s another story entirely.  I enjoyed staying overnight at their house. And I used to think that if I could live anywhere else in the world except at my own house, it would be at my Uncle Kris’ house. Uncle Kris always was and still is to this day my favorite uncle.

Let me tell you about him. To start off with, he is Norwegian. He even speaks with a bit of a Norwegian accent, especially when it comes to phrases like “Yah” instead of “Yes.” He was always a pretty soft-spoken man, especially if you compared him to my Aunt Gert, who was quite outspoken, to say the least. He’s also kind-hearted and generous. I remember when we were young kids, he’d always be the one to give us nickels and dimes when Aunt Gert wasn’t looking, and he’d say, “Now don’t tell anyone where you got this from, okay?” and then he’d give a wink and a smile. I even remember how he used to push me so high when I was young and swinging on their swing set in their back yard. And oh, how he loves to laugh! He’s always the first one to laugh at a good joke, and he loves to tell one, too. His favorite phrase is, “Is that right?”

My dear uncle doesn’t have long left in this world, or so the doctors say. It’s only going to be a matter of months, maybe even weeks, but only his Creator knows for certain. All we know for sure is that it will be a sad day for us when he leaves us all behind. I know that I will miss him very much because I love him.

Not only that, but he’s like a special connection to my mother and father—one more connection that I don’t want to let go of. And that may be the hardest part to bear . . .

QUOTE FOR THE DAY:  “An uncle is someone special to remember with warmth, think of with pride, and cherish with love.”  ~ Author Unknown~

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