I come from a big family. Not counting their spouses I had 12 aunts, and uncles, and “cousins by the dozens“was a reality for me. If you count spouses, it gets harder because the question is do you count ex spouses? If they are widows or widowers, certainly. If their ex-ness is as a result of divorce, I make the judgment on an individual basis. Truth be told, I liked some of the spouses better than some of the blood relatives.
While I still have cousins by the dozens, I only have one uncle left. He married one of my mother’s sisters and he loved her. She didn’t make that easy. She died many years ago. He could have walked away from my crazy family, but didn’t. Maybe he’s sad sometimes, but I think of him as upbeat and cheerful. That’s the way he always is when I see him. He’s also helpful. He lives near my sister and he’s always been nice to her. He’s a good man. I wish I did share some of his genes. His family is very long-lived and he is a remarkable physical specimen for a man of his age which is nearly 80. I wish I was as physically active as this uncle and I’m nowhere near 80.
Why does he come up today? It’s his birthday.When I was in grade school, he was a school bus driver and he used to tell the children on the bus that if they were good, he would take them to the circus for his birthday. All but one of the kids looked forward to it. I was the one who didn’t. He was my uncle and I knew his birthday was April 1st, April Fools’ Day. He never did take us to the circus.
Many years later, I was a Cubmaster and we were taking the tigers, bears and wolves to see the lions and elephants. I ran into my uncle shortly before the Cub Pack’s trip to the circus and told him what we were doing. Then I told him that he should really pay for the whole thing since he promised to take lots of kids to the circus over the years and never delivered. He laughed. He didn’t take the Cub Scouts to the circus either, but he thought it was funny that I remembered that as an adult.
Early in the life of this blog, I told you I remembered Leslie’s birthday because of humiliation. I remember my uncle’s birthday because he didn’t take me to the circus. Happy birthday Unk and Happy April Fools’ Day to everyone.