Sunday, October 27, 2013

And Another One's Gone

This morning my uncle passed away from complications related to a brain tumor.  One short week after Little Sam. My fingers are crossed there won't be a third post next Sunday. 

I admire my uncle for fully living his life since being diagnosed 16 months ago. He has traveled to places he and my aunt have long wanted to visit, spent time with family and friends, camped, and ran numerous 10k's. 

Aunt Cheryl and Uncle Kevin
My uncle is my mom's brother.  There are 9 siblings in their family -- only six are still living. Although no strangers to loss, being familiar with death does not make grief easier to bear.

My memories of Kevin center around our family Thanksgiving's. As with most families everyone has a role. My mom brings apple pie and fresh cranberry sauce (there's a deep divide in the family between fresh sauce lovers and canned sauce fans). My Uncle Kirk always brought fresh cracked crab (Thanksgiving coincides with the opening of crab season in California). Sadly that tradition has changed hands as Kirk passed away several years ago.

My Aunt Robin brings the pumpkin cheesecake. My dad is responsible for theological debates. And Uncle Kevin, he always carved the turkey. And refused to play Nertz -- a card game that Kevin was too gentle-hearted to engage in. Anyone who has played knows it's a blood sport. Players must remove all rings, watches and bracelets before playing.

Kevin was kind and giving. Not only do I remember him as the turkey carver but he was always last in the kitchen making sure my Aunt Sharon was not left with a mess to clean by herself. He wasn't a push over though. You always knew where he stood -- there was no question as to his opinions and beliefs. Years ago Kevin and Cheryl made decisions that drastically changed the direction of their lives. For the better. It wasn't easy; they left everything they knew and moved to a new state. It literally saved them. I have no doubt that had they continued the path they were on Kevin would have left this world far sooner than today. They built a wonderful life for themselves in Portland and remained steadfast in their beliefs. Their commitment has been honorable. 

Kevin will be missed by many. In particular by his best friend and wife of 35 years. He loved her, he loved her, he loved her.