Dear Uncle Bob,
I will miss you.
I will miss your warm smile and generous heart.
I will miss your prompt arrivals at family events and the chats we got to have before everyone else showed up.
I will miss hearing the surprise and delight in your voice when, on the phone, I’d Hi Uncle Bob before you could say Hi Jenny, it’s Uncle Bob. (Thank you caller ID!)
I will miss the silly jokes you told, especially when you started laughing before you could get the punchline out.
I will miss the thoughtful gifts you lovingly constructed for the kids. Most recently, the toy trucks for Patrick, cleverly disguised in a toothpaste box. My all time favorite was the false bottomed gift bags you engineered for Bridget and Seamus. Aunt Pat could barely contain her giggles, watching the kids confusion and surprise as they figured this one out.
I will miss hearing you recount the story about the Thanksgiving when the grilled turkey took so long to finish that, just as it came off the grill, it was time for everyone to go home
I will miss how you could say so much with so few words.
I will miss weekend breakfasts in Plymouth – going back to your house afterward so we could chat a little longer and Patrick could watch the episode of Bob the Builder that you’d recorded for him earlier in the week.
I will also miss how you politely let it be known when it was time for us to go, when you needed rest.
And I’ll miss waving goodbye to you while you stood in your driveway, watching us go, your love for us apparent in your eyes and smile.
I will miss you Uncle Bob. Thank you for being a constant, loving presence in our lives.
Uncle Bob Bashford grew up in southern California, spent a bazillion years here on the East Coast, was a flight engineer for Pan Am (said he never worked a day in his life because he LOVED his job), served in Korea, married the beautiful and brilliant ex-Navy, computer whiz Pat McMurrer in '69 and YES, they lived happily ever after.
Though I wasn't related to Uncle Bob and Aunt Pat by blood, friends are the family you choose. Boyhowdy, they were family.