Monday, April 27, 2009

Remembering "The Ace"; A Final Thought

On Saturday we buried my uncle, the guy we called "Ace" (he's in that picture from 1947), the second from the right in the last row. My father is the good looking guy in the center of picture, middle row. And their younger brother is third from the left, back row. That was from a semi pro football team from 1947, The Avenel Panthers, here in New Jersey.

A funny thing happened before I went to the viewing on Friday. I had on a suit and tie. My neighbor, across the street yelled, "Where you going, to a funeral?" I tried not to laugh....and I yelled back to her...."As a matter of fact, I am!"

After she apologized up and down for the next five minutes ( and I told her not to worry, no problem) she left a Mass card and a condolence card in the mailbox while we were at the funeral home.

Its good to have nice neighbors. Who said Jersey people are rude and insensitive?

My brother and my sister in law drove in from the Midwest for the services. Altogether, I was told, there were 365 people who signed the guest book. Uncle Ace would have loved it. He had a strange kind of fascination with numbers and obscure facts. Three for each day of the year. He could have done a half hour monologue on that.

There were tears...but there were even more laughs. Alot more. Ace had his faults, and his quirks, and sometimes he went to the extreme. But no one ever doubted his love of family.

And his greatest legacy was the family he left behind...five terrific people who in turn began families of their own, and found happiness with their spouses and their life partners. Collectively, they are some of the finest people I know..and I'm proud to be a part of their family.

It was the end of a life....and a remembrance and a celebration of a man who had a life well spent.

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