Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Happy Birthday Uncle Johnny!

Monday was my Uncle Johnny's Birthday.. I didn't get a chance to write this blog until now but I really wanted to share my feelings about him.

I come from a definite matriarchal family, the amount of men who marry into our family and stay is very very small. Now the men seem to have a bit better luck. I think part of our problem is we are strong women.. and I mean strong. Women who have never needed a man to "take" care of them, just to care for them. Sadly, in generations past men didn't get that. But Uncle Johnny Did..

Honestly in my entire life there have been a very few men who have been around for the duration. Some because well we grow up and move on but others because they didn't want to stay. But Uncle Johnny has been a mainstay in our family for generations.. That's right.. generations! He married my Aunt Margie as a very young man, 25 I think and true to the daring ground breaking women that I come from, he was ten years her junior. But he loved her kids.. and together they had three more. 

This man has always been a source of laughter, joy and security for me. I know if I ever needed him he was right there, in the same home, in the same town.. of course that doesn't mean he always stays put.. nope the man is always on the move. Visiting navy buddies, family, friends.. on the go! 

One thing Uncle Johnny is famous for are his stories.. he has a lifetime of them! Of course as children we didn't always appreciate them but as an adult, I seriously hope someone has written them down! My favorite was always the peanut butter cookies and the sharks one. Now I am paraphrasing and may get a lot of it wrong but.. 

Uncle Johnny was a Navy cook, on a ship (not sure what type) but for some reason one time they got cans and cans and cans of peanut butter (huge coffee cans). Not sure what to do with it and not having anywhere near enough recipes for peanut butter, the cooks made peanut butter cookies. (I am sure the men just got sick of those cookies). One day Uncle Johnny said the boat just started to rock, no one could figure out what it was.. Are you ready for this? The men decided to feed the fish the cookies. I guess it was a complete treat because it not only attracted fish but sharks.. and those sharks were hungry.. Before anyone even knew what was going along the sharks started hitting the boat (Naval Vessel NOT canoe) and the entire ship just started rocking.. 

Now I can't seem to remember the end of that story or how they extradited themselves but these are the gems that Uncle Johnny shared with us over a lifetime. 

Uncle Johnny was the first of our family to get email, he had his AOL account as soon as humanly possible and would correspond with family and friends all over the world. No way was technology leaving this man behind. 

I mentioned my Aunt Margie, and they had a storybook love.. the kind you read about. They were always together even when Aunt Margie got so ill she had to live in a home. Uncle Johnny went daily to have meals with her.. Just to be with is Margaret.

The most amazing thing about this wonderful man is is capacity to love. The man has five children and seventeen grandchildren (No clue how many greats are in there) and yet every Christmas and birthday my kids would get a card with two fives in it.. Saying Merry Christmas or Happy Birthday love Aunt Margaret and Uncle Johnny.. This tradition went on through their teens, yes even after Aunt Margie left us.. Uncle Johnny never forgot.. 

Honestly, I am not used to men who stay.. it's just such a wonderful gift that I was given this man to be a part of my life. To be loved by and to love! I admire him more as an adult then I was ever able to as a child.. To me he represents what love, true enduring love is.. 

So while I missed writing this on his birthday.. I still wish him a Happy Birthmonth!! Hope you celebrate every day of it!


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