Day 1,369 – Thankful for Time with Extended Family & Uncle Frank’s Legacy

Today we said goodbye to one of the all time greats, Uncle Frank.

While he wasn’t physically with us last night I’m still sure Uncle Frank was nearby as many of my relatives and I spent time with each other. There were several times when I’d catch a little of Grandma and Grandpa in the smiles and comments of my aunts and cousins as well. Each of those moments brought a little extra joy to my heart.

One of my favorite themes of memories with Mom’s side of the family revolve around time spent around the dining room table. Last night was an extension of so many of those past wonderful times. The huge group of us all hung out around the dining room table and talked, laughed, shared memories, and caught up with each other. That time together was priceless and leaves me excited in anticipation of our next family get together. Thank you so much Aunt Peg & Uncle Tom for opening your home to all of us so we could share that time together!

Over the past week since Uncle Frank passed away I’ve spent time thinking about why I am thankful for my time with him.

As a nephew there are so many incredible moments he created like taking us to a Brewers game way back in the mid-80’s. Those memories are treasures to hold onto tightly. They are those first person direct contact moments in which I’ll always think of his big smile, larger than life positive personality, and his big hugs.

Over the past few weeks I’ve become more and more grateful for something else, the indirect stories and memories of others. There have been so many beautiful stories shared about Uncle Frank by so many people. Stories of the positive impact he made in their lives. Stories of his positive and upbeat attitude. Story after story after story about his selflessness. And if I thought I’d must have heard most of them by now imagine my surprise when his eulogy added more and more layers as well!

The lasting positive impact he made on so many people is awe inspiring. I’m grateful to have heard so many of these stories as they are a wonderful reminder of the legacy we can leave when we live for others first. The legacy he left for all of us continued even after his passing – one of the reading choices he made for the funeral mass today was a great reminder of taking care of others, praying for others, and staying focused on helping others rather than ourselves.

As I’ve had quiet time to reflect over the past week it’s led me to realize there are some things I need to work on. Having Uncle Frank’s legacy to look back on and use as a guidepost is something I’ll be forever grateful for.


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