At this stage of my life, I have lost my mother and father, my grandparents, some friends, and aunts and uncles (and cats, of course). But I still have my favorite uncle, whose name is Raymond, but I have always called him “Unkie.” I have loved him always; he always told the funniest jokes and stories. When he came down from Maine to visit with me and my parents and grandparents, it was a wonderful time.
So many times he would tell me about how, when I was born and he and Mom were worried doing all the right things, he asked the doctor how to handle me. According to Unkie, he said, “just keep her warm and dry, and hold her like a football.” (That always cracked me up!)
When he came to visit, especially for Thanksgiving and Christmas, it was such a special occasion. I loved him so much, and loved the way he would tell the funniest jokes. My favorite one was about the lady who was going to fly for the first time, and she was worried about missing her flight. She got to the airport as early as possible so that she wouldn’t be late.
As she sat down and waited, she noticed that the man sitting across from her carried with him a violin. He wanted to get a cup of coffee, so he asked her if she would watch his violin for him. When he left, the lady kept looking at the violin. She wondered how hard it would be to play a violin. She looked around to make sure that no one was watching, and she opend the case and drew out the violin. She tucked the violin up to her chin and picked up the bow. She drew the bow over the strings, and was delighted to hear the sound that it made. Satisfied, she put the violin back in the case.
It was getting close to the time to start boarding, and she had to go to the bathroom. She asked the man behind the counter how much longer it would be to board, and he said that they would be boarding quite soon. It was then that she realized that she really had to go to the bathroom. So she ran to the closest bathroom, and was embarrassed that she farted all the way.
By the time she was finished and ran to the counter, she found out that her plane had aready boarded! She asked the man if there was any way she still get on the plane. The man looked at her and said, “well, you fiddled around and farted around, and now you missed your flight!” To this day I still laugh my head off about that joke.
Last year when I took my Hawaiian trip, Unkie warned me about people who tried to get you to buy a condo in Hawaii. As everyone now knows, it’s harder to get rid of a condo than it is to get rid of herpies, so I promised him that I wouldn’t fall for that.
Unckie is in his mid-90s now, and is living with my cousin Marie and her husband, Joe. Unkie is, as he says, “ready to go.” He asked me once if his wife, Dottie (who died many years ago) would be waiting for him in Heaven, or would she be back with her first husband (who was terrible to her)? I told him that he shouldn’t worry about that, and than I was positive that she will be waiting for him with a big smile on her face, and her arms open wide.
He is my last remaining uncle; the best uncle ever. While I dread that final phone call letting me know that he has passed away peacefully, I know that he will be with his wife, my mother and father, his parents and his friends. As I believe that God is good, I believe that when we pass on we are met by those who have gone on before us, arms open wide and smiles on their faces.