If you had told me when I was a child that one day I would count my uncle, Steve, as one of my dearest friends, I would never have believed you. The Uncle Steve of my childhood was big and loud when he talked and could be a little bit scary when he was mad. That was about the extent of my knowledge of him. The Uncle Steve I've come to know in the last eight years or so just blows what I thought I knew of him out of the water.
Uncle Steve is married to my mom's sister, and though we're family, we didn't really move in the same circles for most of my adult life. Jamie actually attended school with Steve's son--my cousin--and was familiar with him. We didn't see him and my aunt, Helen, much even though we live less than a mile apart. I don't really know how it happened, but sometime in the last few years, we connected with Steve. A deep meaningful loving friendship developed, and I adore this man! Jamie adores this man, and Uncle Steve says Jamie is his buddy. He comes over to visit us, and it's always fun conversation...meaningful conversation. When we walk the pups, we always walk by his house and stop to visit.
He is a happy, larger-than-life personality who loves life, loves the Lord, and can (& will) strike up a conversation with anybody. Anybody! He's never met a stranger, he'll tell you exactly what he thinks without a filter, and he'll make you laugh. He's a big softie who loves, loves, loves animals and will do anything to make sure his own are well cared for. He's also a three time cancer survivor; he's beat lung, colon, and prostate cancer. Seventeen years cancer free, and he's appreciative for every single day.
He came over yesterday to check on me and encourage me and give me some words of wisdom. I love this photo Jamie took of us because I love this man!
Uncle Steve inspires me to laugh, to keep on keeping on, and to be thankful for every single day I am given. He's an original, authentic down to the core, nothing fake about him. I'm so grateful for this friendship.
My beautiful friend....