Everyone has an Uncle Bob, right?
That’s the trope. Good ol’ Uncle Bob.
I have two. Well, technically, I only ever had one, but I don’t really know him. He’s on my father’s side of the family and their a lot less close than the folk on my mother’s side.
The other Uncle Bob isn’t really my Uncle. He’s my mom’s cousin-in-law. We grew up calling him Uncle Bob. He is the subject of this post.
Yesterday, June 10th, at 5:20pm, my Uncle Bob lost his fight with cancer. And other things. He had been ill for quite awhile and gone home on hospice care. The loss was not a surprise. He was surrounded by his family – by three generations of women who had loved him dearly – and went peacefully in his sleep.
This post is not about grief or sorrow.
It is about a life, well-lived and fully-loved.
Uncle Bob had polio as a kid. When I was a wee one, I didn’t realize the seriousness of polio, I just knew it was something bad that made one of Uncle Bob’s legs gimpy and was grateful we had a vaccine so I didn’t get it.
Uncle Bob never let it get him down. I remember when all the “Uncles” would leave the Taneum bright and early Saturday morning to go golfing – my Dad frequently counted amongst them – and Uncle Bob never missed a round. He bowled with them, back in the 70s especially, when it was all the rage to get together with friends and roll balls at pins together. He rode motorcycles with them – the “Uncles” and their old ladies, riding on the open road, the wind in their hair and adventure on the horizon.
Most of that happened before I was born, or while I was just a little one.
But every summer, rain or shine or rattlesnake, I remember Uncle Bob and their big blue RV. I remember his laughter while the adults played Pinochle or Poker or Horseshoes. He always had time for the children too, because Lord knows, the Fields Family Reunion was never short on kids.
Uncle Bob married into the Fields (well, the Williamson branch) Family when he wed Aunt Vici. (Aside: True story – his brother, Connie, later married Vici’s sister, Jeannie.)
He was a Fields by marriage, but there was never any doubt that he was one of us.
And now he’s gone.
He won’t be forgotten, my not-uncle Uncle Bob. His big spirit, his gigantic heart, his hearty laugh, his indomitable spirit. It remains among us.
Good ol’ Uncle Bob.
Rest in Peace.
Note: Image from my “Aunt” Mary Jarvis, via Facebook