Uncle Hank had many talents. Being a father and a husband were the talents he chose to cultivate. All of us who survive him, his children, his grandchildren and cousins are so lucky that we had him for so long.
He and my Aunt Jeanie created the incredible home that nurtured all of us and in turn, our children, too. He was all about family.
Someone to look up to, someone to follow, someone to admire, someone to hold and someone to cry with, someone to learn from and someone to respect, someone to listen to and someone to talk to. He checked all the boxes. There have been many crossroads in my life in which I needed his guidance and more times than I can count, I was on their doorstep, children in tow. Sometimes for a week, sometimes for a month, sometimes I didn't want to leave. He would joke and ask me if I was on the weekly or the monthly plan.
A master chef, in my book. I remember being small and he'd have me stand on a kitchen chair, tie an apron around me as he explained every step of one delicious dish after another. I will never forget the first time he said I was a good cook...I thought I won the lottery!
And what a story teller! We all could sit at the kitchen table and hear episodes of life before us. Over and over again, I never got tired of them. All of these attributes were lessons in life that all of us learned from.
I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the hollering. The louder he got, the more we knew he loved us. In one of my prolonged visits, my sons were small. My older son, Ronnie was beyond a handful. He would get up early with them and make them breakfast. Ronnie wanted waffles. There stood Uncle Hank, T-shirt with a dish towel over his shoulder while puffing on a big cigar, he bent over and said,rather sternly" well you got pancakes" Holding my breath, knowing Ronnie would protest, instead "OK Uncle Hank"
Uncle, the day has finally come that you must travel separately from those who love you and who you loved so fiercely.
The laughter you gave us, and yes, even the tears, will bring us warmth and strength. May flights of angels sing you to your rest.