Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Uncle Ray


Uncle Ray & Sammy
Originally uploaded by jeffkos
Uncle Ray died early Monday morning. As a veteran of the U.S. Navy, it was befitting that his last moments fell on Memorial Day. He was 68. This photo of him with great-nephew Sammy was taken last October. I feel awfully lucky that Sammy got to meet and laugh with his Uncle Ray on this day, just as I'm awfully lucky that I got to spend 38 years laughing with the man who was not just my Dad's oldest brother, but also my Godfather. Now he and my Dad are back together again. I'm sure they're already staking out their spots to watch tonight's Pistons-Cavs game 4. And my Grandma's yelling at them to get their feet off the coffee table.

15 comments:

Joe the Troll said...

Sorry for your loss, man.

Miz UV said...

My sympathies, Jeff. It's great that you have the photo for Sammy.

Sour Grapes said...

Who could ask for a better tribute?

Sal said...

Ah jeez, Jeff. Glad you had your time.

I imagine it wouldn't be Heaven for them without your grandma yelling at them to get their feet off the coffee table ("... and stop tilting that chair! I want to see all four legs on the floor!")

Hope you're writing up your memories for Sam to read some day.

Keera Ann Fox said...

My condolences, Jeff.

But I must say, you sure make heaven sound good with your relatives there!

PJ said...

Your dad and Ray are arguing over who's going to win and I know it. They're also drinking beer.

And watching over you.

Natsthename said...

I'm sorry you lost your Uncle Ray. You wrote a nice tribute and I hoped your team won the game!

RIP Jeff's Uncle Ray.

Teacake said...

I am sorry for your loss.

I am glad for Sammy, who will grow up hearing stories about Ray, that he will have this picture.

O' Tim said...

So sorry, Kos. I hope he passed in comfort and peace.

Beer in heaven? I knew it! Keep 'em chillin' men!

PJ said...

An update for anyone who's still reading this thread ... I attended Ray's funeral today and while the whole perception of such gatherings tends to be morbidity and something to be avoided if at all possible, I assure you that this one was quite the opposite. Yes, there was sadness. Deep, deep sadness. How could there not be with someone who was so important to this family, and who died far too young? Because he was in the Navy, there was a 21-gun salute, taps, and the folding of the flag ... show me a person who doesn't cry when those taps are played, and when that flag is handed to a spouse, and I'll show you someone who's probably something short of being human.

But Ray's service was positioned right from the beginning as a celebration of his life ... and that it was. Video and music and personal testimony by his oldest daughter Kathy, who spoke eloquently, trying her best to choke back tears as she paid her last tribute to the person she truly believed was the best dad on earth. And through the whole thing, I was so honored because my own son was sitting right next to me. I didn't expect him to sit with me, yet that was where he apparently believed he should be. We watched the video that celebrated his Uncle Ray's life ... and of course, a major part of that life was Jeff's dad, who was another star in the video. Those photos showing him, I think, were the most difficult for us both to watch.

My son's loyalty to me didn't stop there. When we traveled from the funeral home to the cemetery, he could have ridden with anyone--the other pall bearers, his cousins, aunts, uncles, anyone--there were so many of them in this huge family--yet he wanted to ride with me.

And I'm afraid that's all I can say right now because for some strange reason, my eyes have just gotten so watery. Allergies, probably. Pollen in the air.

Or something.

Sylvia, The Supreme Ruler said...

PJ and Jeff,

I'm so sorry for your loss. I only just found out. Thanks for adding your update, PJ.

Ole Blue The Heretic said...

I am sorry to hear about your Uncle's death.

Cheezy said...

My condolences, mate. Great tribute.

Sour Grapes said...

He prolly rode with you becoz there were no hot chicks around. But I don't know your fambly, so I can't be sure.

Webmiztris said...

sorry for your loss, jeff...