My great Uncle Harry passed away this week.
Yes, his name was Harry Dicks. Not even Harold Dicks. Straight up Harry.
Growing up, I lived next door to Uncle Harry. He lived with his brother, my grandfather, on a sprawling piece of land that served as my childhood adventure land. Land that my father and his siblings once roamed became the place where I walked and ran in their footstep.
I knew Uncle Harry well back then and less so as the years have gone by, but he has always been there, a fixture in that small, white house between the fields and forests that I loved so.
It's hard to believe he's gone.
Uncle Harry was the last of my grandparents generation. Gone now are my grandparents and all of their brothers and sisters. My father and his two surviving siblings and my mother's four surviving siblings are the family elders now.
I was fortunate enough as a boy to know both sets of grandparents, as well as my great grandfather (my father's grandfather), my great grandmother (my mother's mother), and Uncle Harry fairly well. I have solid memories of all of those people. Men and women born before and during the Great Depression, decades before World War II, who have now passed on.
I can't help but wonder what they were like as children. How did they spend their time? What games did they play? What dreams did they dream? What were their hopes for the future?
All I want is just one day. Give me one day to go back and see those people - my grandparents and great grandparents - in all their youthful glory. To see Uncle Harry with the sun on his face, the wind at his back, and so much time ahead of him.
This is a picture that my brother drew of Uncle Harry. Captures him well.