In the fall of 1995, after spending 4 months in Europe back-packing, staying in hostels and modest hotels, I flew into Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). My Uncle Jim came to pick me up. I don’t remember why Jim was the kind relative to collect me at LAX, but there he was.
Jim was my very favorite Uncle, and I have two. My earliest memory of Uncle Jim is swimming in a little above ground pool in Sherman Oaks, California, filled with a garden hose. The pool was in grandparent’s Moseley’s back yard. The pool was maybe 3 feet deep? Uncle Jim his two daughters, cousins Karen and Cindy, and sister Becky and I swam in a clockwise circle to create a current. Uncles Jim and Bob were in that little pool with us. We really weren’t swimming we were pulling ourselves with our hands on the bottom. Two grown men and four girls on a hot California summer afternoon in a silly little pool. Not really a pool.
I loved my Uncle Jim, he died yesterday at age 93.
I don’t know why Uncle Jim and I had such a loving connection. He was a Republican and didn’t watch the news or read a paper. Several years ago, Mom and I visited their home in La Canada, CA and we both remarked there were no newspapers or magazines. Aunt Jo, Mom’s older sister, and Uncle Jim lived in the same ranch three bedroom two and a half bath home since the early 1096s. They did not watch TV news (thank goodness not FOX), they didn’t read newspapers, but voted consistently Republican — because they were Republican. Jim was a small business man, and worked very hard every day and was a very good provider.
It is hard to put into words why Uncle Jim and I had such a strong loving connection. But we did. So, I was thankful I could hug him and say goodbye.
Ironically, cousin Karen (Jim & Jo’s eldest daughter), her husband Larry and I had planned a camping rondeaux at Borrego Springs, CA. Karen and Larry arrived as scheduled, but Jim had been ill the night before. He went into the hospital and was put in hospice the next day. Karen, Larry and I left Borrego Springs and drove back to Bakersfield, CA. I stayed two days and was able to say goodbye to my wonderful, funny Uncle Jim.
Jimmy and I play golf together several years ago, before they moved to Bakersfield. Uncle Jim, like I, had taken up golf late in life. But it was a very special treat to play golf with my Uncle Jim.
Today I went out and played 18 holes ironically, I was paired with a man named Jim. I played the best round of golf all year, a score of 98 (below 100). I believe, I was playing with my beloved Uncle Jim. You are my angel. RIP.