Sunday, November 02, 2014

Sailing Away

Once again, I'm remembering a loved one. My wonderful Uncle Chuck (aka Charles, Jr., aka Charlie and aka my mom's brother) passed away earlier today, peacefully in his sleep after a long and difficult struggle. I thought I'd share excerpts of my last letter to him here.

Dear Uncle Chuck,

Since you are one of my favorite uncles, I want to be sure you know a few things. Especially the fact that you are one of my favorite uncles.

Throughout the years, I've been shaped by the way you have embraced life and the way you have embraced the people you love. Always Pratt Island would come alive when you showed up, so full of humor and light. 

Uncle Chuck, cousin Tracey, cousin Sandy, and sister Linda

I loved the way you openly adored your daughters. It seemed like such a simple and true thing for you.

Uncle Chuck and his three beautiful daughters

I loved that you and Sigrid and Lani were able to come to our wedding even though it was almost all the way across the country, and things were a little rough in 1990, and we had given exceptionally short notice as we were only engaged for eight weeks. That wedding weekend, and especially our reception at Sundance, would not have been the same without you. It meant so much to me that you were there! I still remember your gift shop discoveries and how you reveled in the idea of a partying at such a beautiful mountain ski resort. You confirmed we had chosen just the right spot to celebrate our major milestone.

I loved that you went out of your way on your big western adventure to see me and Roger and our new baby Jack. We still have the silver rattle you brought him, and we still hold the most awesome memory of you dropping your pants in our front room to show us the magnet contraption that was helping you cope with your sore knee on the long drive!

I loved that you pulled strings to get Jack out sailing on Long Island Sound when we were in town a few summers ago. A picture of Jack jumping off Friendship has been the banner photo on my Facebook page for years now, and I think I'm going to keep it that way for a long time. What a treat to be able to introduce Jack to such an important part of my childhood!

Thanks for being my wonderful uncle. Damn it, I really wish I was there to give you a big hug in person.  

All of the love in the world from one of your favorite nieces :).