Remembering Uncle Ray

“It’s not the days we remember;  it’s the moments”  I’ve head that quote before and now understand how true it is. 

I was fortunate to have a special Uncle (Uncle Ray), my Dad’s younger brother. I loved to get visits from Uncle Ray growing up because he would play with me like one of my pals would…he’d chase me in the yard and tickle me until I couldn’t laugh any harder.  It’s moments like those that are still bright and vivid in my memory. 

As the years went on, my family moved south (Ray lived in Pennsylvania) and he and I lost touch but thankfully for the internet and email, we reconnected.  We began exchanging emails roughly about 4 years ago and I would look forward to his messages to get a dose of his witty sense of humor.  

My parents had him to their home in North Carolina several times.  He loved visiting with my nieces and enjoying the southern warmth and wonderful hospitality. 

It just so happened, that one of his visits was during the month of November.  Uncle Ray  joined us for Thanksgiving in 2006 and was able to share in a very special moment…Clare’s debut to the world!  I wasn’t home from the hospital for more than a few days when my parents and Uncle Ray arrived to our home for Thanksgiving.  It was a very memorable time for all. 

My Mother, Clare and Uncle Ray

My Mother, Clare and Uncle Ray

Thanksgiving 2006

Such a wonderful time, that we decided to make it an annual event.  😉  Thanksgiving 2007 rolled around and Uncle Ray joined us for Turkey Dinner.  This time, I was able to act as the hostess and give my Mother a break as she was Chef-in-Charge the previous year while Robert and I were overwhelmed (just a wee bit) with baby Clare.

The timing worked out to where Robert took Ray and my Dad to a Carolina Hurricanes hockey game during that visit.  My Uncle Ray LOVED sports; needless to say, he and Robert always enjoyed eachothers company.  I think this may have been Ray’s first NHL game…they all had a blast. 

Uncle Ray, my Dad, Clare and Me

Uncle Ray, my Dad, Clare and Me Uncle Ray and Clare

 

Uncle Ray and Clare

Uncle Ray and Clare

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sadly, that was to be the last Thanksgiving with Uncle Ray. He unexpectedly joined our other guardian angels up in heaven on September 13th, 2008. I just happened to have sent an email to him about a week before then as I realized my hectic life caused me to procrastinate on reaching out to friends and family. He emailed me back the night before he passed away—I am so grateful to have received that email as I could tell in reading his message that he was happy and in his normal witty spirits.

He shared his high hopes for the Bills (he was an avid Buffalo Bills fan) as the NFL season had just begun and he sent best wishes to my parents as we were all about to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. …”I think it’s great that the whole family will be together for your parents’ 40th. 40 years!!! That’s a miracle in this day and age. As a matter of fact, it’s the third miracle they are responsible for. You and Erin being the first two. I’m not going to wish you all (y’all) a good time as, considering the ones doing the planning, that would be redundant. Thanks so much for the pics of Clare. She just keeps getting cuter and cuter. But, I don’t understand how she keeps you and Robert on your toes. She doesn’t appear to be THAT tall. Give her a hug and kiss for me and tell Robert I said hello (sorry, no kiss). love ya’s, Uncle Ray===”

Uncle Ray, we love you too.

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One Response to “Remembering Uncle Ray”

  1. Rita Marie Says:

    Tara –

    Thank you for this blog site. What a great tribute to Ray! His friends told us that when Ray would return after being with his nieces and great nieces, he was “glowing with such pride and joy.” He always looked forward to his trips to NC.

    You’re right – he is our special guardian angel and he will protect all of us. I talk to him all the time, and sometimes, in very subtle ways, he responds. Try it, you’ll see what I mean.

    Thanks ever so much again – for this great gift to remember Uncle Ray.

    Aunt Rita Ree X0X0

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