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'F' as in Frank

Crying uncle

They were and are my mom's three brothers and her sister.

My mom's youngest siblings, a twin brother and sister, are little more than a decade older than me.

I can remember as a child of six, seven, eight years old hanging out with my younger aunt and uncle. Aunt Malenna was cool with her 60's era VW bug that she drove us around in and Uncle Tim was in a band, The Unforeseen Sound.

That was really cool!

My mom had two brothers a few years older still, and as far back as I can remember the older uncles were hip grown-ups.

There was Uncle John, younger than mom and funny in a Steve Allen way, and Uncle Jim, the oldest, who I remember as a bit more reserved but had a sense of humor and a great laugh.

Today they're in their 60s and 70s and it's been seven years since I last saw them.

Up until this week, the five siblings were all enjoying life together, even as they were scattered between Ohio and Florida.

That all changed on Tuesday of this week - the longest day of the year - as Uncle Jim passed away.

God helped him overcome serious ailments in the past, but this week the Lord decided it was time for Uncle Jim to go home.

At least in this life, the circle of my mom and her four sibs is broken. They are no longer five on this Earth.

We know they will be five again in heaven, and that in eternity the circle will remain unbroken.

Even so, the grief is fresh here and now.

I'm sure the loss is much harder for Uncle Jim's wife, daughters and his four wonderful siblings.

But here on the other side of the country I share their grief and mourn the loss of my Uncle Jim.

I'm crying uncle.

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