Today, thanks to an email conversation I was party to, I would like to express my gratitude to my aunts and uncles. A lot of them are (or were) special to me in different ways. Some lived far away so I didn't know them very well but I knew they loved me all the same.
My Uncle Vince and Aunt Marge lived close to us. He used to sit in the floor and let me put barrettes in his hair for hours on end. Poor guy. But you know what? When I grew up I think he almost missed it. I think he's part of the reason for my love of corny jokes to this day! And Aunt Marge taught me so much about living with pain and not letting that stop you. She also taught me to play chinese checkers. They always had those round pink mints on their coffee table that reminded me a little of Pepto Bismol.
And Aunt Joyce showed me that a woman could work outside the home and raise a family. And she and Uncle Doc taught me that just because a family does a lot of yelling, doesn't mean they don't love each other!
Uncle Bob and Aunt Jo - man oh man! I love those two! They taught me that you could have a strong faith and still have a good time and cut a rug.
Aunt Helen taught me that you don't have to hold your tongue, just because you're a woman.
Uncle Howard and Aunt Peggy- they lived so far away. I didn't know what they looked like when I was growing up, and I always imagined Aunt Peggy looked like the character "Barbara" on one of the soaps.
I also thought she might be evil, since she's the one who supposedly taught me to suck my thumb when I was a toddler. Turns out she's not- she's a hoot!
Uncle Glenn and Aunt Carrie were probably the first people I remember being "frugal" on purpose. Isn't it funny what you take away when you're a kid? Aunt Carrie sent cards every birthday and by golly, you're giving her sugars when you see her.
Uncle Garry and Aunt Char- they lived pretty close so I got to stay with them once in a while. That was fun. And of all the silly memories- I remember shopping for furniture with them once when they got a dividend check. I had no idea what that meant, but I figured it must be a good idea! And of course, Uncle Garry was living proof that it didn't matter how old you were, you could be a kid. And drive like a maniac.
Uncle Richard and Aunt Lill's house was always a fun place to stay when we went out west. I remember Uncle Richard rolling us up in sleeping bags and then giving them a flip so we rolled across the carpet. We like to never got that basement cleaned up that day.
And my Aunt Connie had one of the most memorable moments in my young life. I remember her telling me I shouldn't try so hard to cover my lips no matter how big they are. Women in the city paid big money for lips like mine. That got me through- and still does- a lot of self-conscious moments.
And I can't forget my "honorary" aunt. Aunt Joanne- she was the big kids' aunt, but I always claimed her. Mostly I think because my mom loved her so.
I nearly forgot my Uncle Larry- Garry's twin (of course). He died at age 26 in a construction accident leaving a family of his own behind. This taught me at a very young age the reality of how fleeting life is.
And sadly, today we found out that Josh's only Aunt on his dad's side chose to take her own life. I don't know what she must have been going through to make a choice like that. I do know that Josh adored her and they shared a birthday. She will be missed.