Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day 2011

Happy Father's Day to my dad, "Nick the Stick" - in addition to being an attorney, Dad has been the municipal judge in our hometown for the last 20 years, and that was Rob's suggestion for his campaign slogan. It didn't make it on the campaign flyers, of course, but it has become one of the many affectionate nicknames that we kids have called him over the years. We love you, Dad.

United States Navy, 1960


Dad and me, 1972




Dad and me 1996




Dad and youngest grandson, Henry, 2011

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This weekend we said our goodbyes to Uncle Chuck, my favorite uncle, who was a wonderful man, father, grandfather, and husband. Jace and I traveled to northern Iowa for the funeral. It was a bittersweet trip, such a sad reason to travel there, but wonderful to see my aunt and my cousins and their families, and spend some time together remembering Uncle Chuck.

Here is one of my favorite pictures of Aunt Mary and Uncle Chuck, taken about 10 years ago:




Aunt Mary is my mother's sister, and she has remained a part of our lives since our mother passed away, almost thirty years ago now. Some of my favorite summer memories were at Aunt Mary and Uncle Chuck's home in Cedar Falls. We went to visit her for several summers growing up, and this weekend we had a chance to remember all of those things - blueberry pancakes in the mornings, long rides on the bicycle trails, and getting to see our older cousins, Mike and Laura. They were several years older, and already in high school and college when we visited in the summers - I reminded Mike this weekend how he always used to affectionately call us "rugrats" and give us piggyback rides!


Now Mike has a college-age daughter of his own, Emily - it had been several years since I'd seen her, and she has grown into a beautiful young woman, getting ready to start college at University of Iowa in the fall.





Emily and Eva!

Here's Susan and our nephew, Henry, with Mike's wife, Kathleen. Somehow I didn't end up with any pictures of our cousin, Laura - but she is as beautiful as ever, and is married to Matt, with two adorable sons, Michael (8) and Andrew (6).

Of course I did manage to get all kinds of photos of the kids over our two day visit; the older boys stayed busy playing games, swimming, and wrestling in Aunt Mary's back yard.



Cousins - Isaac, Andrew, Payton, Jace, Landon and Michael






The younger cousins had plenty of fun of their own, although they didn't try to keep up with the big kids. Aunt Mary and Uncle Chuck's church had a lunch in their parrish family center after the funeral mass, and the Sam and Eva enjoyed climbing the bleacher steps, while Isaac made his rounds visiting everyone.











I was so glad to have made the trip, and that Jace could go with me to see Aunt Mary again, after many years, and to meet Mike, Laura and their families. Aunt Mary and I have communicated by letters and email over the last several years, but I wish that I had made the time to travel and see them. Mike and I talked about this very thing, as we visited on Thursday night - how busy we all are, and that we don't have or make the time to keep up with our families.


This weekend served as a reminder to me that some of the best times I had as a child were spent with my siblings, cousins and family. Today, on Father's Day, I'm thankful for my immediate and extended family, and resolving to make the time to stay in contact, and keep building those memories for myself, and for Jace.





2 comments:

Mr Lonely said...
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Annie said...

Nancy -

Good to see all the pictures you posted from the funeral. It felt weird for me not to be there when everyone else was going, so I'm glad I got to see a few pictures :)

-Annie