Sunday, March 25, 2012


Two days ago, on March 24th, Uncle Richard turned 70.  Unca, as he has come to be known by all of his nieces and nephews, is Mum's oldest brother.

Uncle Richard, Nettie, Teena, Mum and their parents, Ed and Grace (who we called Pum and Grandma) on Christmas 2000

Mum and Dad were in Australia with all of Mum's side of the family to celebrate Uncle Richard's 70th birthday.  While we couldn't be there, we were able to pass along our best wishes via Skype and Jim and I raised glasses of champagne in Unca's honor at dinner.  I haven't seen Uncle Richard for close to 12 years, when the above picture was taken, while we were in Australia for Christmas my sophomore year of college.  Chatting with him briefly on Skype the other day revealed my uncle just like I remember him.

Growing up, Unca would always always threaten to eat my teddy bear.  You can see my teddy bear and me below, while he was new and still had all his hair.  He's currently a very old, hairless teddy bear.

My teddy bear was as special to me as Lilly's one is to her, so Unca's threats caused many squeals--part laughter, part fear--whenever I was with him.  I would hide my teddy before he came over and he would send me pictures of teddy bears between two slices of bread, much to my horror.  It was a relationship very similar to the one that Dad has with Lilly and her one.  Even as we were talking on Skype a couple of days ago, a teddy bear "magically" appeared in the corner of the screen, followed closely by a grinning Uncle Richard.  

I wanted to send Unca something small and meaningful for his birthday, so this is what I came up with.  

Twenty years later, the name "Uncle Richard" still brings fear into the hearts of teddy bears everywhere.  Even 15,000 miles away, in Connecticut.  

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