Sunday, February 05, 2006


I got an e-mail late last night from my 86-year-old aunt to tell me that her younger brother, my uncle Wayne, had passed away after a long battle with cancer. Of the nine siblings, Wayne was the next boy after my dad, and he's the one I knew best.

My mother and dad divorced when I was five. When I was 14, Mother remarried and we moved from Missouri to Texas, and contact with my dad's side of the family dwindled. During our Missouri years, though, we saw Wayne and his young family somewhat regularly.

In 1996, my sister and I decided to take our first road trip together to go to a reunion of my dad's side of the family. My dad wasn't going (too far for him to travel) but he called Wayne and asked him to look out for us. And that he did. He took us for a ride in his restored Model-T, told us a couple of good stories about growing up with our dad, and helped us out when my sister's new car developed an engine problem just as we were leaving for the trip home.

If I'm calculating correctly, Wayne and his lovely wife were married 62 years. I can't imagine how it must feel to lose someone you've lived with and loved for that long.

He was a good man, and he will be well remembered.

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