Wednesday, May 29, 2013


I have this uncle who tells the best jokes, almost always with an inappropriate spin. He can keep us in stitches around the campfire like no one else I've ever seen or known. His delivery combined with his quick wit cannot be matched.

I have this uncle who trained with the Airforce and worked as an airplane mechanic for most of his life. He had a gas station for a stint and went to Saudi Arabia, where he made a fair amount of money shooting stray dogs, since it's such a problem there. He worked extremely hard for decades. Some of that time he commuted to Buffalo, NY each week to work, before returning home on the weekends to be with his family. He finally retired last October.

I have this uncle who loves working in his shop. For many years he dreamed of having his own workshop. One that he could complete woodworking projects within & work on cars, but also one wide enough to bring in a small aircraft. He built one out of straw bale barn construction and it is quite a specimen.

I have this uncle who is passionate about to serving others. At his church he would lead groups of volunteers in making handicapped ramps for those who need them, among other projects. He's also the fix-it man, when all else fails.... everyone goes to him.

I have this uncle who enjoys biking with his friends and participating in bike tours throughout Europe. Recently, he's also enjoyed fly-fishing.

I have this uncle who adores his family: his wife, two daughters, two sons-in-law, and three granddaughters. His face lights up with joy, when one of those grandchildren walk into the room. The feelings are completely mutual, there's no doubt about it.

I have this uncle who signs every card to me "YFU" (which doesn't mean anything inappropriate). It stands for "Your Favorite Uncle." It's been our running joke since I was in the single digits, I believe.

I have an uncle who had Acute Myeloid Leukemia and spent many months at the Cleveland Clinic fighting for his life. He received a bone marrow transplant from his brother, a perfect match, and was able to come home this spring. We were all thrilled and he was so glad to be home.

This weekend we learned that he needed to be transported back to Cleveland because he had very low blood pressure, a pulse difficult to read, and was struggling with a GI bug that swept through our family. Next we learned he had pneumonia and was placed in the ICU, where he would need to stay for a few days. Today we learned that he has Graft versus Host Disease, which means that his transplant is actually fighting against his body.

He's calm, sedated, & intubated, but still really fighting in the ICU. This time is crucial.

I have this uncle, named Uncle John, who I adore. My prayers, thoughts, and heart are with him, though states away.


  1. Thank you for writing this, Käthe!

  2. Reading this helps to fill out my prayers for John O.

  3. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. You've always been eloquent with your words and able to convey your message meaningfully. I'm sure that if YFU could see this he'd feel truly appreciated and loved by you.