A funeral is on my schedule for today.
My uncle, who meant a great deal to his family and friends, died this past Monday morning peacefully in his sleep after an illness of several months that gradually weakened him. He had just celebrated his 60th wedding anniversary with his wife Vivian on Friday the 1st of May.
I knew my Uncle Louie as a warm, kind, and loving uncle whose time spent with his family and friends was always filled with laughter and easy company. For many years he owned and operated a nice little Schwinn bicycle store for which I was the lucky groundbreaker and my family's construction company built. That great place from my childhood was always called 'the bike shop'. I hold great memories (sights, smells, feelings) of the bike shop and also their home on 8th Street which hosted many terrific family gatherings. I remember his laugh and smile. I will certainly miss him, his voice, his twinkling eyes, his humor, his manner.
The connection with my family and past he represents is nearly unparalleled for me. He and Aunt Viv always made sure that their childrens', nieces' and nephews' childhood was filled with joy. For this I am eternally grateful.
The way I can honor him best is really the only way and that is by striving to be as warm, kind, gentle, and loving as he. I don't think it is nearly as easy as it sounds because I know few who could compare. If it is hard, he sure made it look easy and that's why he will certainly will be missed.