Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veteran's Day, Uncle Dean

Today is 11/11/11, Veteran's Day, and I'm thinking a lot about my Uncle Dean, whose funeral I attended yesterday. Dean served in the Vietnam War and returned to the states to marry my Aunt Colleen and live a quiet life in Lacey, WA with his family. I never knew my uncle very well... he was very quiet, always in the background of family events, never saying much but quick to smile or laugh at the conversations of others.  

My Uncle Dean was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, and the past year was very rough on the family, especially for his wife and their daughter, Bianca, who is only in high school. When Dean passed away this month my heart ached for my aunt and cousin. But it wasn't until the funeral that I was truly touched by this man I had never really gotten to know. Handsome and rugged, he was a "quiet cowboy" who carried himself with strength and dignity. He was fiercely loyal to his wife and daughter and their family photos are filled with love and laughter. I think I was simply too self involved as a child to notice these things, which now seem so admirable and precious.

I feel sad that I didn't know my uncle better, but I am so thankful that my aunt and my cousin knew and loved this man so dearly. I feel so deeply for their loss, and my thoughts and love are with them every day during this difficult time.

What I have learned from this experience is not to take the people in your life for granted. Today, take just a moment to get to know someone in your life better. Or thank a veteran for their service to our country. You never know when you might not get a second chance.


  1. I'm sorry again about your Uncle! That must be so hard on your cousin and aunt. I know what you mean about wishing you could have known him better, I'm not very close with any of my uncles (or my aunts for that matter!) and sometimes I wish that was different.

  2. Thanks... I'm glad he's not suffering anymore but it's still hard.


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