October 4, 2010

Uncle Dick

On Friday evening, around 7:00, my Uncle Dick, age 94, died.


There are a lot of things I'd like to say about Dick but none can really express how amazing he was and how profoundly appreciative I am to have had him in my life. Dick was a soldier - a pilot in World War II - a diplomat serving at posts behind what was then the Iron Curtain. He was never a father and took great delight in holding Mia. It was his first time ever holding a baby. Dick was very much estranged from my maternal grandmother - it's a long story - and seemed amazed to find us, a family he'd never known, when we moved into the area and finally gathered the courage to make contact. Dick and my grandmother last spoke in 1964. They'll never have the chance to make amends. Dick was notorious for his shopping sprees at high end stores and, having been married to an appraiser for sixty years, accumulated a trove of treasures in his travels. His a testament to his globetrotting. Dick is survived by, well, us.

When I told Mia and Owen, Mia took the news well, speaking perhaps the greatest truth in the fewest words - "Uncle Dick was a good man and he lived a good life. He flew airplanes, he stopped bad guys and he was nice."

Posted by Chris at October 4, 2010 7:20 AM

I'm so sorry for your loss. He sounds like he was an amazing person.

Posted by: daisy at October 4, 2010 8:26 AM

So very sorry to hear of his passing. I am glad though, that you had him in your lives. :o)

Posted by: jen at October 4, 2010 8:31 AM

I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm glad that the estrangement didn't prevent your family from getting to know him. He sounds like a neat fellow!

Posted by: Kate M at October 4, 2010 8:38 AM

So sorry for your loss of your dear Uncle. Sounds like such a great man. I didn't realize that you hadn't had contact with him your entire life, but the story of you reconnecting, and his connection with baby Mia, is heartwarming.

RIP to a true hero.

Posted by: TeresaLynn at October 4, 2010 8:44 AM

My condolences to you and your family.
I'm always amazed at kids and their knowledge. They're small little pesty buggers most of the time, but once in a while, they say things that blow me away. Mia is right. he sounds like he was a wonderful man. Anyone who flew airplanes and stopped bad guys would have to be!

Posted by: Kim at October 4, 2010 8:51 AM

I'm sorry to hear about your uncle. My condolences to the Cactus clan.

Posted by: Elizabeth at October 4, 2010 8:59 AM

I am so sorry for your loss. Sounds like he was an amazing man.

Posted by: Kris H. at October 4, 2010 9:10 AM

So sorry to hear that Uncle Dick passed. Gone from this world, another man from "the greatest generation"! My condolences to you and your family!

Posted by: Maribeth at October 4, 2010 9:18 AM

Here's hoping that Uncle Dick's spirit is dancing with love, always watching over you and keeping your family safe.

Posted by: Emily at October 4, 2010 9:43 AM

My condolences on your loss; I think Mia said it best.

Posted by: metawizard at October 4, 2010 10:04 AM

Mia has a way with words. I'm sorry.

Posted by: Hannah at October 4, 2010 10:07 AM

Mia has it right. It sounds like he lived a long, wonderful life. That is surely something to be thankful for.

I'm sorry for your loss. Keep your thoughts focused on the good times.

Posted by: 3jaysmom at October 4, 2010 10:08 AM

What a wonderful tribute. And Mia's is of course, magnificent as well!

I'm happy to have had this tiny window to a life that has made me smile & very happy you had (took?) the chance to know him, even if it was later on.

Posted by: harmzie at October 4, 2010 10:09 AM

May he rest well.

Posted by: lumpyheadsmom at October 4, 2010 10:23 AM

I'm so sorry for your loss. :(

Posted by: Hope at October 4, 2010 10:51 AM

I'm sorry for your loss.

Posted by: Poppy at October 4, 2010 10:57 AM

I'm so sorry for your loss. Mia is right though, he had a good long life. It's so nice that you all reconnected in recent years and I'm sure that was something he was incredibly grateful for. Best wishes to you all in this hard time.

Posted by: Emily at October 4, 2010 11:25 AM

I'm so sorry for your loss, Chris. Mia? She is wise.

Posted by: Brooke at October 4, 2010 11:39 AM

Mia has a a wonderful way of getting to the truth of the matter. What an amazing girl she seems to be (and what a man your family has lost). How wonderful that you connected with him and that he had the chance to become part of Mia's life!

Posted by: pvz at October 4, 2010 11:43 AM

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. But, I guess what they say is true..."out of the mouths of babes..."

Hugs to the entire Cactus-Fish family.

Posted by: Krush at October 4, 2010 11:46 AM

sorry about your uncle! i think mia's got the right idea :)

Posted by: kati at October 4, 2010 12:08 PM

Family is what we decide it is. The more we add to it, the more we have. Good and bad.

Here's to your courage to bring joy into your uncle's life and share your beautiful family with him. For all the treasures he saw around the world, I'm sure he considered your family one of the most beautiful jewels on earth.


Posted by: alektra at October 4, 2010 12:13 PM

Sorry to hear about your loss. I hope someone can say something similar about me when I pass.

Posted by: Caleb Gardner at October 4, 2010 12:53 PM

He sounds like a man who enriched your lives and vice versa. So glad you were able to have him in your children's lives.

Posted by: k8 at October 4, 2010 12:54 PM

So sorry for your loss. Remember that, though he is gone, he lives on in you and your kids.

Posted by: cyndy at October 4, 2010 2:33 PM

Sorry to read this, I do like Mia's words though!

Posted by: Katherine at October 4, 2010 2:37 PM

I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm glad you were all able to find one another and share your love.

Posted by: Annie at October 4, 2010 3:39 PM

It sounds like Uncle Dick really was very nice. I'm sorry for your loss.

Posted by: hillary at October 4, 2010 5:10 PM

Mia, the sage.

I am sorry for your loss, Chris.

Posted by: Mindy at October 4, 2010 6:08 PM

My sincere condolences.

Posted by: cassie-b at October 4, 2010 6:34 PM

I'm so sorry for your loss.

A pilot, a diplomat, an adventurer? From your description of Dick it certainly sounds like Mia comes by her fearlessness and determination (little girl, big pool) quite naturally.

Posted by: erin at October 4, 2010 9:19 PM

My deepest condolences to you and yours.

Posted by: Lujza at October 4, 2010 11:31 PM

Children manage to keep our focus on the important things.

Posted by: Heather at October 4, 2010 11:37 PM

So sorry for your loss - you and your family are in my thoughts

Posted by: Delia at October 5, 2010 2:15 AM

I'm sorry for your loss. He sounds like a wonderful man. Mia sure does have a way with words.


Posted by: Kris at October 5, 2010 9:47 AM

I'm sorry to hear about your Uncle. But it's a heartwarming story how you were able to connect with him. Though I'm comfortable with our decision not to have children, it's hard not to wonder and worry about who might be there for us (or not) in our old age. It is so nice that he had you and you had him.

Posted by: Tracy at October 5, 2010 10:12 AM

My condolences for your loss.

Kids are amazing at this stuff. Still, I fear my kids' first loss greatly. It's comforting to know yours handled it well.

Posted by: Brad at October 5, 2010 11:15 AM

I am sorry for your loss. I think Mia just gave the best eulogy ever.

Posted by: kali at October 5, 2010 11:16 AM

I'm sorry for your loss.

Posted by: Fraulein N at October 5, 2010 4:51 PM

Sorry to hear that, friend.

Posted by: Aimee Greeblemonkey at October 5, 2010 6:10 PM

Sorry to hear of Dick's passing, Chris - condolences to you and your family.

Posted by: Mark V at October 7, 2010 2:33 PM

J'ai pensé qu'il allait y avoir une certaine message ennuyeux, mais c'est vraiment compensé pour mon temps. Je vais poster un lien vers cette page sur mon blog. Je suis sûr que mes visiteurs trouveront que très utile23

Posted by: Lancel at November 18, 2011 3:30 AM