Thursday, October 22, 2009

In Memory of Uncle Dave

My uncle passed away on Monday morning and this week has been both horrible and wonderful at the same time. Uncle Dave was my mother's only sibling and he was 14 years her senior. The huge age gap between them made him more of a father figure than brother to her and I know the loss is exceptionally hard for her. He has been battling complications from emphasema for 12 years now and just recently had taken a turn for the worse. The news on Monday was therefore not a surprise, but shocking to fathom none the less. My aunt and uncle live in Boerne, just outside of San Antonio, and we packed up and headed out on Tuesday morning. The drive was 5 hours long, which was by far the longest car ride that Colin has ever been on. He was amazing and surpassed my wildest expectations. We stopped to eat in Temple, which was about half way, and he ran off some pent up energy in the Chick-Fil-A before we finished the drive in. My parents and sister Alieson has arrived on Monday afternoon, so they were waiting for us. Meredith, Cory and their kids were close behind us in arrival time, so we quickly had gathered my entire immediate family. Uncle Dave and Aunt Judith live in a stunning home nestled in the Hill Country of Texas, complete with deer hanging out in the backyard waiting to be fed. We all drove from the hotel out to the house to meet up with my aunt and all of my cousins, who had also all arrived from their various homes. We have never all been in one place at the same time, and it was so amazing to be together as a family, but sad that it was under such trying circumstances.

My uncle was a very special and interesting man whose last wishes were unique and wonderful. He asked that there be no funeral at all and that his family do one thing...gather in Luckenbach to drink a Lone Star beer in his honor. He hated the thought of a funeral and much preferred that there be a party instead. They live only about 30 minutes from Luckenbach and spent all of their free time there. It was his all-time favorite place to be on earth. Luckenbach is the stuff of Texas legend and I had never actually been and ALWAYS wanted to go. The town consists of a bar, and that is pretty much it. It is literally in the middle of nowhere, nestled in the hills and away from civilization. The back of the bar is surrounded by a huge old patio where various musicians play every single day. There are picnic tables, lights swinging from the trees, old beer signs, dust, rocks and roosters walking around. We brought a giant spread of food and the requested Lone Star beer. The entire night was like a could feel Uncle Dave around us. I have never been to a more wonderful place and we were all loathe to leave at all. The sounds of old country music wafting from the cowboys gathered on the patio and the distinct smell of beer and cigars made for a dreamy night etched in our memories forever. I can't do the night justice with simple was a night filled with love and family and memories. I know that Uncle Dave was having the best time watching all of the people who loved him together in the middle of Texas celebrating the night away for him. It was, quite simply, perfect.

Here is Colin enjoying his HUGE cookie!

Duke helps the boys during the dinner...the weather was perfect.

Jer outside the bar/shop/post was amazing!

Colin loved the giant front porch AND the scary scarecrow!

The closest that I got to a picture with Colin! :-)

Jer and Cory enjoy a cigar...they are members of the "I married crazy sisters" club. :-)

Hanging out with my sweet sisters...

My favorite picture that I have taken with Jer in a long can just tell how much love was in the air.

All the cousins in one place for the first time ever! From left to right...Meredith and Cory, Kayla and her father Nick and his wife Suzanne (my cousin), me, Jer, Alieson, Steven and Amy (twins)

I love this precious cousin Suzanne. Everyone says that we favor each other a great deal.

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