Today my Great Uncle Frank is being remembered and honored for the wonderful man that he was. After 94 years he decided to leave our “physical” earth to scatter mischief in the bounties of Heaven.
I honestly do not know if God was ready for him, or if he was called home to breathe new life within the Angels and surrounding landscape. All I know is that our great loss is Heaven’s gain. He is spreading his laughter and his love to everyone in eternal life. They are taking our place seeking out his warmth, sparkling eyes, and hugs that can ease all stress and pain.
I was not only heartbroken to hear the news of his passing on February 3, but devastated to learn that I would not be able to attend his Memorial today. Sadly I was to be out of the country and I know that he would not have wanted me to change my plans. Since I cannot be there in person, I thought I would put together my own little tribute to honor a man that I will forever hold dear in my heart.
We did not live in the same State, and didn’t even see each other every year, but that didn’t stop me thinking of him and his wife (my Aunt Josie) constantly. When I was fortunate enough to see him it was like coming home, with no time having passed.
My earliest memory of Uncle Frank and Aunt Josie is being at their house in Newburyport, MA. I want to say that I was younger than ten, but my parents would have to vouch for that little tidbit. I just remember being a little nervous, as I was meeting an entire clan of the Incropera family. Most I had never set eyes on before and some I have not seen since. I was in awe that they had a swimming pool and tennis court in the back yard. I think my eyes were as big as saucers! What stood out and made an impression? Besides the pool and tennis court! 😉 Being spoken to like I was “somebody” worth speaking with. I was welcomed with open arms. They did not talk over or around me. They got down to my level and really seemed to care what I had to say. That simple effort on their part left a lasting imprint on my heart and soul.
This was also the day that my “third” (I stress the 3rd, as Aunt Josie claimed that I could marry my 3rd cousin…….as if!!) cousin and I competed in the pool singing and spelling Mary Poppins “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. This was also the evening that their basement flooded, and Uncle Frank gathered all of the kids, and as many buckets and bowls he could find, and made wading thru the water an adventure. I have never been happier cleaning up than I was that night.
I wish I had some photos of that day. Mom? Dad?
I was honored that they would make the trip to share in my happiness marrying PT. Yes, I am smoking a cigar! No, I haven’t done it since. And yes, I can still get my hair to be that big. LOL!
I was thrilled to introduce B to this very special man…….
……and then K! In all my years I have never seen children unhappy around Uncle Frank. I swear he wove some type of spell around them, encouraging them in their pursuits and laughing at all the antics they could stir up.
This photo is displayed on our family room mantel. It was taken 4th of July weekend in 2003. My parents are in this picture, along with my sister Donna and her children, Uncle Frank, Aunt Josie, and their beautiful daughter Mae is on my right holding tight to B. The only one missing was my oldest sister Terri and her husband Charlie.
Do you remember my Dunkable S’more Bites? Totally inspired by the bite size s’mores that Mae had at this cookout!!
This is one of my favorite photos of my Dad and Uncle Frank relaxing and shooting the breeze!
Lord, I love this man!
This was the last photo that I have of the kids with them. This was taken during my parents 50th wedding anniversary. I can only hope that PT and I can stay the course to not only make it to 50 years, but the 74 plus years that Uncle Frank and Aunt Josie shared.
Not only did Uncle Frank have me wrapped around his little finger, but B was quickly following my lead.
I would be totally remiss if I did not include his service to our country. It wasn’t until I was married that I learned that he had been a Bombardier in the U.S Army Air Force during WWII. Not only am I proud and honored that he served his country, but I am thankful that he was able to come home to his wife and family. I am in awe of everyone who serves in our military, potentially sacrificing themselves, for the greater cause of our freedom. Uncle Frank is in the back and on the right.
Although I would like to think that my Uncle Frank belonged only to me, and that I was the only one that had a special place in his heart, that would be false and misleading. He was a man who adored his family and friends, and in turn……his family and friends adored him.
My last thoughts to this mini cyber Memorial will be a quick little note that I truly hope that he can see….
I want to thank you for being such a positive influence in my life. You showed me how to have fun and not to take life too seriously. The author of “Don’t sweat the small stuff” could have learned a few lessons from you. I know that you had worries and struggles, but whenever we were around they melted away and it was nothing but fun and laughter. You gave a little girl the safe haven she really didn’t know she was needing until much later in life. From the bottom of my heart I thank you for loving me and accepting me unconditionally. You made me feel safe and secure….no matter how many miles separated us! I look forward to having you wrap your arms around me again, but in the meantime I know that you are shining above, throwing little signals and signs of love to us all. If I ever do have a down moment and need a little additional strength all I have to do is hit the play button on our answering machine. I can still listen to your beautiful voice, and feel so blessed that I have this message saved.
All my love,
If you happen to be walking the beaches of Rye, NH just give a small salute to the sky…….he will know that it is for him!