Friday, August 7, 2009

Last night I prepared a blog post about the coming weekend, but things have changed over night.

My dear Uncle Jack, who had been in poor health, died around midnight last night. Poor Uncle Jack had been in bad health for years, and while I was in Texas he was hospitalized twice and in a nursing home in between the hospital stays. Hospice came in on Monday. Although we knew his days were limited, it is still a very, very sad time for all of us.

In light of Uncle Jack's death, I can't bring myself to make a needlework post today. I hope that you understand and will bear with me.

I have so many fond memories, both as a child and later as an adult with my own family, of visiting my aunt and uncle on Virginia's Eastern Shore. What fun times we had when we were all together!

When my daughter, Carolyn, was born in 1974, Uncle Jack hoped she would be born on his birthday, January 27. Instead, she was born at 12:45am on January 28. The winter of 1974 was the only year I know that the US was on daylight savings time in the winter, so I laugh and say Carolyn really was born on his birthday. (And Tom laughs at me when I say that.)

One of my memories with Carolyn and Uncle Jack is when he took us to a 4th of July parade. Carolyn must have been about 5 or 6. I think we saw every fire truck on the Eastern Shore! Uncle Jack was so tickled to have his great-niece with him. (Unfortunately, Stephen had gotten sick and had to stay behind with Tom and my aunt.)

Uncle Jack and I are both early morning risers. The two of us would often meet early in the morning in the kitchen over a cup of coffee. Uncle Jack would work on one of his wonderful ship models, and I would cross stitch, and we would talk while the others slept.

Our grandson (at this time we still didn't know his name) was due in 2008 near Uncle Jack's birthday. Uncle Jack was hoping the baby would arrive on his birthday, and Carolyn (the mother-to-be) was hoping he would be born on her birthday the following day. On the afternoon of January 27, I called my uncle to wish him a happy birthday. My Aunt Frances answered the phone.  She was so excited and said "I guess you are calling to let us know we have a new baby ". "No", I told her, "I'm calling to wish someone at your house a very happy birthday. The next time I call will most likely be to let you know about the baby." Can you imagine everyone's surprise when about an hour later I called back to let them know that yes, we had a baby. We were all so delighted that Haiden was born on Uncle Jack's 85th birthday. Haiden is his one and only great-great-nephew.

Our last visit to see my aunt and uncle was March 2008 after I had taught in Loudoun County. Tom knew that I couldn't go to Virginia and not see my beloved aunt and uncle.

Uncle Jack nearly two years ago with
his first great-grandchild, Kylie.
 Rest in peace Uncle Jack!

16 comments:

karenv said...

I'm very sorry for your loss Ellen. Thank you for sharing your memories of your uncle with us.

N E E D L E P R I N T said...

Dearest Ellen, I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. A hug for you and God love you. Jacqueline

Sheila said...

Your uncle sounds as though he was a wonderful man...thinking of you with sympathy at this sad time.

Jeannine 520 said...

Ellen,

I'm sorry to hear of your sad news. My condolences to you and your family.

Mary Beth said...

Ellen, my deepest sympathies on the loss of this special man.

woolwoman said...

Ellen - I heard you speak of your Aunt and Uncle in VA very often - I am so sorry to hear of his passing away - I know he was very dear to you and your family. My deepest sympathy {{hugs}} Mel

Katherine said...

Ellen - your story brought tears to my eyes. Heartwarming tales like that will keep your Uncle Jack alive in your family forever. My condolences - Katherine Genung

Chrissie said...

Ellen, my condolences on the loss of your dear Uncle Jack. You have many happy memories of him which will live on in your heart forever.

Chrissie

Margaret said...

Ellen, I'm so sorry to hear about your Uncle Jack's passing. You have written such a wonderful tribute to him. Bless you and your family, and Uncle Jack.

Cari said...

Oh Ellen, what a lovely post...just beautiful. Wonderful memories. I am so very sorry.

Sandra said...

Ellen, I am so sorry for your loss. Sending you a big hug. Sandra

Jennifer said...

so sorry about your loss :(

Lynn said...

What a beautiful tribute to a beloved uncle!

Terri said...

Ellen, we are so sorry to hear of loss! Such a sweet story and a wonderful testament to your uncle. He sounds like a dear and loving man who will live on in the hearts and memories of your family.

We are sending healing hugs and blessed wishes to you and your family.

Terri & Lynn

With My Needle said...

Thanks, everyone. The last 10 days have been a blur with a very quickly planned trip to Virginia and the funeral last Sunday...just a week ago today.

Anonymous said...

Ellen, Thank you for your kind words about my father. As you know, he loved family. He would be very touched. Love, Anne Paul