A long, long time ago, when I was still living in Chicago and had a lot more grandmas who were living, I decided to dedicate some of my blog to giving tribute to those I love before they die, so that they knew exactly how I felt about them before their funeral. I focused on my parents, step parents and grandparents and eventually my husband (though I am pretty sure he knows how I feel about him). Today, I want to celebrate my uncle's 60th birthday by giving him a tribute.
Uncle Jeff has a special place in my heart. He is the sweetest guy I first knew, besides my Bobba Bab (great-grandpa). When my mom got a divorce, he was in high school. She started working and going to school part time. If she couldn't pick me up at day care, he would, and always greet me with his big, wide grin. I love that grin!
When my mom remarried and they were both working, I spent a lot of summers in Green Valley with Nana, Gigi and Boppa Bab and, of course, Uncle Jeff. He would take a day off of work to hang out with me and he was the one who taught me how to swim. He survived divorce and was hopeful enough and loving enough to have a second successful marriage. He started his own business with his first wife and managed to keep it afloat through the divorce and other challenges for decades. He helped Nana run a home decorating business when I was a young girl until she sold the business, which is when he started his own. When Nana wasn't able to work any other jobs, he hired her as part of his business to work part time as a home decoration consultant. For the last fifteen years, he has been the one to take care of Nana and make the arrangements for her to go into an assisted living facility and later to a nursing home. He more than anyone else, saw Nana's decline due to Alzheimer's because he visited her so faithfully. He has shown and continues to show, so much love and devotion for his family and friends. He is Jesus's love in action.
Happy Birthday, Uncle Jeff! I love you!