Thanks, Uncle Ken

A few weeks ago, my uncle Ken passed away quite unexpectedly. Admittedly, I didn’t know him as well as I would have liked, and that is my own fault.

Particularly guilty of letting my life fill up with busyness, there are too many things I keep putting off until someday. One of those things is getting to know my extended family better.

Going to the memorial service, the one thing that stood out with utter clarity was that my uncle knew how to live. I mean really live. He squeezed all the fun, excitement, joy and adventure out of life that he could.

What a way to live.

I can’t think of one time I saw him that he wasn’t wearing a huge grin and laughing.  Always full of life. I can hear him and my uncle Ed joking, as they most often did, at our many family gatherings when I was a kid.

During the service, letters from his children and a few of his grandchildren were read. The underlying theme in them all was Ken’s passion for life. He skied, backpacked, traveled in an RV, and loved photography.

And just a day before he passed away, his first great-grandchild was welcomed into the world. One life beginning, one ending.

I hope that baby will someday know, and perhaps follow, his great-grandfather’s zest for life.

Seeing the many photos, hearing the heart-felt words that reflected Ken’s life made me want to follow his example and really learn how to live.

She Who Will Miss That Big Smile

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