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Talking it over: Favorite relatives

During one of my recent cleaning sessions, I ran across a book I had been given called Grandma’s Memories for her Grandchildren. When I looked inside the book, I noticed that I had started to fill in the pages and then must have quit to work on something else. I decided to try and finish it but some of the questions really made me have to think for a bit.

Right now I am stumped on a couple questions that asked who was your favorite aunt and uncle. I have so many of both that it is hard to simply pick one. Naturally the ones that live closest to me have become quite special. My aunts, Joann and Evelyn, have always been there for me and as a child I spent a lot of time at their homes. Not only did I grow up with their children but long afterward, remained close and in touch regularly.

That is not the case with all my aunts and uncles. Many of them I did not see for several years prior to their passing and those that are still here, I have not seen or heard about in recent years. This makes it really hard when it comes to learning about their failing health and even passing.

However, the question continues to plague me as I think about each of my aunts and uncles. I loved them all so much and they were always very kind and patient with me. I have some very special memories of each and every one and things that I remember most about them.

For example, one of my dad’s brothers, Koert, lived in the cities and usually came out to Hancock a couple times during the year. Each time he and his wife, Helen, ventured to our home they would arrive late and we all knew the reason. Koert loved to take shortcuts and usually ended up getting lost. It was a standing joke and I know that my map reading and short cut advice probably came from him.

On my mom’s side, there were only two uncles along with their wives and families. I loved it when my uncles came to our place to help with field work. They were so funny and loved to joke with the kids making our time together very special. I still smile when I think about their threats to buy us a belly button brush to clean out the dirt in that tender spot.

There is only one of those uncles left and I guess I would have to admit that my uncle Nick will always be my favorite. A few weeks ago my husband and I visited him in the nursing home in Starbuck and we had a great time. It was hard to see him in failing health but his spirit was still there. As we left, I gave him a kiss on the cheek and said “I love you.” He responded with “I love you too.” It was one of those rare moments when I was able to tell him how I felt and get the response I needed to hear.

I do love each and every one of my aunts and uncles, both living and deceased, and I am deeply thankful for the memories, love and great times they have shared with me over the years. I may have to simply say “too numerous to mention” on the page designated for those favorite relatives.