Sunday, June 15, 2008

Today is my second Father's Day

without him.

And it's my cousins' first without their father, my Uncle Bob, who died on Friday. He was my mother's last sibling in a family of four. Here's a picture of him with my mom on the left and his wife of 60 years, my Aunt Ruby, on the right.

In her mid-80's, Aunt Ruby is still an amazing piano player. We spent a lot of Thanksgivings and Christmasses when I was kid at their line-green house on a hill in San Francisco. Aunt Ruby would play raucous honky tonk while the adults all drank beer and we kids played bumper pool and compared our Christmas gifts.

Bob and Ruby bought the house in 1955. It still has a beautiful old stove my Aunt Ruby polishes to perfection and the original tiles in the kitchen and bathroom. The kitchen window overlooks the intricate garden my Uncle Bob tended to for years. You can also see the bay and the docks where he worked.

Three days before Uncle Bob died, we (Mom, my sister and I) sat before that remarkable view at the kitchen table with with him, my aunt and cousin. We talked, told stories and laughed for hours. He knew his cancer was terminal. He was thrilled with all the "free stuff" hospice was giving to him: a cane, a wheelchair, medicines, care. He said he'd had a really good life.

If you still have your dad, love him extra today.

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