Today would have been my Uncle Bill's 80th birthday. He is celebrating something far greater--eternal life.
At the time of his passing a few months ago I was distraught because I couldn't find my most favorite picture of him. Oh, there are many pictures of him in my family's collection of life photos. But this one. This one is my favorite because it captures the essence of my relationship with my Dear Uncle.
Though I didn't find it in time to share with his immediate family at the time of his funeral the thought of it made me realize something. My Uncle Bill made me feel like he loved me the most of any one in the whole world. I always secretly kind of felt sorry for his three daughters and everyone else in the family because surely they must have sensed it.
Then as our entire family--both sides, his and my aunt's side who often seemed like OUR family too--gathered to remember him the night before his funeral I made a discovery of sorts. In talking to the MANY people who came through the line to greet my aunt, my cousins, their spouses, and their children it suddenly became very clear to me.
My Uncle Bill made EVERYONE feel like he loved them the most of any one in the whole world.
Nearly 80 years he spent on this earth and for most of 49 of them I had the great privilege to call him uncle, which, for me, meant "other daddy".
Today, he's not missing out on anything by not being with us. But we are surely missing out by not being with him.
Love you, Uncle Bill!