How embarrassing. It has been almost 3 weeks since I last blogged. To my public, I apologize. To all 6 of you. It has been a busy few weeks. Right on the heels of my birthday was Thanksgiving and Matt's birthday. We've got tons of stuff going on, blah blah blah.
Last week, I left on Tuesday for Little Rock unexpectedly. My great uncle Lonnie, my grandmother's brother, passed away Tuesday evening. I stayed until the funeral on Saturday.
As I was growing up I spent a lot of time with Uncle Lonnie and his marvelous wife, Aunt Joyce. They live out in the country, and every trip to their house was filled with tractor rides, walks to the pond, and nervewracking encounters with aggressive geese (don't laugh until you've had one chasing you). All of that paled in comparison, though, to the pure entertainment package that was Uncle Lonnie.
Before I was born, Uncle Lonnie was in a car accident that ultimately caused both of his legs to be amputated and created a lifetime of medical issues for him. Most people would see this as a mountain-sized burden. Uncle Lonnie saw it as an opportunity to amuse and/or terrify people. I would go as a child to see him in the hospital after various surgeries on his legs, and he would spend his entire visit trying to convince me that if I tickled the air where his feet were supposed to be he would really feel it. Popping his legs off in front of unsuspecting visitors was one of his favorite pasttimes. I remember the first time he did it for Abby--while she was recovering in the fetal position I laughed until I cried with my uncle.
I am crazily blessed to have a huge extended family that I 1)actually like and 2) am close to. The days before and of Uncle Lonnie's funeral were a wonderful time of visiting, joking and much, much laughing. We are not a quiet bunch. In a group of cool people, Uncle Lonnie always stood out as one of the coolest, and I will miss him often. His and Aunt Joyce's 52 year marriage was one of a handful that, when we got married, Matt and I decided we want ours to look like 50 years from now. It is a lofty goal, let me assure you. No one came within 20 feet of them without knowing they were crazy in love.
Uncle Lonnie's funeral was lovely. Matt and I decided, for multiple reasons, that we wanted Abby to go. She loved my uncle, and I was worried that she couldn't handle it. She was a champ, though, and even would pat my back and tell me it was going to be okay when the emotion and pregnancy hormones collided and threated to turn me into a sobbing mess on the church floor a few times. Don't even get me started on the incredible military burial, one of which I have never witnessed in person before and is enough to make me weep just thinking about it.
I know that my uncle is in heaven, and I am sure that Uncle Lonnie is providing some serious entertainment up there. Abby asked me if he had his whole body back and was dancing with Jesus using his real legs. I told her there was no doubt.