The Christmas on my dad’s side of the family was very different this year. Just last year, a few days before spring break, my uncle died of cancer. His name was Gary and boy was he a character. The only real reason the holidays at the farm were fun, was because he was there. He always was able to make everybody feel good, and he was always in the best mood out of anyone. Even when he was battling with cancer, he still did normal things. He loved our visit to the Iowa State Fair eating anything we could find that was served on a stick! He always said the only good thing about the state fair was that you could eat your way through it.
In his last year, although he didn’t look his best, he still acted his best. One day while going into the store where his daughter worked, he saw a hat. It was similar to a fedora, but just a little different with a blue ribbon around the bottom. When asking about the hat someone replied that it had been there for a while and no one had bought it. They said it must take a special personality to pull off a hat like that. My uncle Gary then decided to put the hat on and just take a waltz around store wearing it. He decided that he could pull off the hat and so he bought it and wore it every chance he could get! Along with the hat he decided to add some other new accessories. When going in to buy a new pair of glasses he settled on a round pair similar to Harry Potters saying that they were fun and that he liked them. Later he decided to grow a little goatee just for kicks and giggles… gotta love good old Uncle Gary.
Because we were always used to the old quirks, that were just so Gary, this Christmas felt different. Crown Royal was always my Uncle’s favorite whisky and he loved making drinks and making sure that every one in the family, not including the kids, got several strong ones. This year his wife took over the tradition but even though she made them strong, it was mentioned many times that they couldn’t be stronger than Gary’s. It was strange opening presents without the silly remarks of my uncle, but we all still got through it having a good time. But no way will Christmas ever be the same without good old Uncle Gary.