In the blogging a to z challenge, today I’m faced with the letter U, and I’m going to write about my my uncles who have had a huge influence on me!
First let me introduce you to my uncles Jimmy and Joey. These are 2 of my mom’s brothers and they are both developmentally disabled. They live in a group home with other developmentally disabled men. They are two of my favorite people in the world because they have always made me smile, and it is because I grew up with them in my life that I have learned to be so open to different kinds of people. It never occurred to me that they were different from anyone else because they were just always the way they are, and it seemed normal to me. Once I realized they were different, I kind of shrugged, and that’s how I feel about people now. All people are different in their own ways, so accept them. My uncle Jimmy loves music. he has an affinity for music from the 1970’s — Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5, The Partridge Family, Stevie Wonder, and Barry Manilow are his favorites. He also has an active imaginary life that can be quite entertaining! My uncle Joey loves to shake hands and show off his muscles. They both love to show others their watches and rings, and they are always very complimentary about people’s clothes and appearance. I like to tel people that my uncles Jimmy and Joey are the best people I know because they have no malice in their hearts. They are pure and only know how to love.
My mom’s other brother is my uncle Tommy. For years when I was little, I was sure he didn’t exist. All I knew was that my grandmother used to tell me to be quiet because my uncle Tommy was sleeping. Once I realized he was indeed real, he quickly became one of my favorite relatives. He and his wife (my aunt Sharon) spent tons of time with me and my brother and cousins. They took us bowling and to arcades and mini-golfing. They even took us to Wisconsin Dells for a camping trip. My brother and I got to go to Florida and Disney World with them. When I was with them, I got to do anything I wanted. It was like magic. I never laughed so much as I did on all the adventures I had with my uncle Tommy. I always knew how much he loved me and cared about me because it showed in his actions.
Then on my dad’s side, I have my uncle Stan. You won’t find a more generous man than my uncle Stan. He has helped me in every way conceivable. He has fed me, driven me places, fixed things, repaired my car, washed my car, among many other things. He gives great advice. He tells great stories. He has a very practical view of the world. And he makes me laugh because sometimes he does things that are funny — wearing two different shoes, walking into glass doors, goofing up telling a joke. One of my favorite pastimes is to get together with my aunt and cousins and tell the same uncle Stan stories we’ve been telling for years.
I am fortunate that all of my uncles are still in my life. They still make my life rich and enjoyable. I am the luckiest niece in the world.