Friday, December 5, 2014

Happy Birthday Uncle Ron

Dear JJ,

It is your Uncle Ron's birthday - 65 years old today.  Like you, I have known him my entire life.

He was there, at Thanksgiving in 2009 when we announced we were pregnant. Your love of trains matches his love of the same. He has promised to take you on a train ride in a train park.

When you were young we found the cap that Ron wore at the same age - 61 years later you wore it.

I have one brother left- your Uncle Ron- today is his birthday

Happy Birthday



Wearing Uncle Ron's Cap -
This was Uncle Ron just 61 years before in that same cap

Uncle Ron on the left - shortly after learning he would be an uncle for the first time

That we stayed at Uncle Ron's 9 months before you were born.... 
One of the first people we told we were pregnant was Uncle Ron

In front of our house in Ketchikan - heading off to school - Ron had the brief case 
Here is Uncle Ron in the middle - better uncle Jim (right) and me

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Becoming Scrooge

This year I put up a tree- first one I have put up in decades. With a big smile- because my son wants to decorate it.
Dear JJ,

You may have heard of the story of Scrooge- who lost the spirit of Christmas. When he was young he loved the holiday, but after a series of life events he lost that spirit and reveled in saying, "Bah humbug." He regained his spirit and became quite a man of Christmas cheer.

Somehow I had fallen into that. When I was a child I loved Christmas. My mom had the best and most meticulously decorated tree of all. Somewhere in my early adult life I lost the spirit of the holiday, perhaps because beliefs changed, or I was busy, or I was turned off by the commercialism  - a bit of all of it.

But my change didn't come because I was visited by ghosts, or found some new belief, and it didn't happen overnight. But today I saw the completed change.  Right now you are on the plane with your mom on your way home. Having spent extra time with your aunt Kim and family after Thanksgiving.

This morning- I put up the Christmas tree. Strung it with lights, and had a big smile on my face knowing you would be home and would love to decorate it.

You and your mother- completed the story of Scrooge for me.

Thank you son - a bit of love made this holiday a great one for me.


Your mom and I celebrated our first X-mas in 2009 with you in utero. We were quite happy- and inspired to put action figures on the tree. It was the first X-mas I was enjoying celebrating for many years
Last year you took a bit of interest in the tree - more than any year before
When you were 2, you didn't like Christmas ornaments - so when your mom was gone skiing you and I tossed them into the swimming pool. I thought I found a Scrooge spirit.
Like Uncle Ron you always liked trains

This year, with Auntie Kim and Riley, you found a new interest in decorating the tree
Of course your idea of a nativity scene is like mine - where does Batman go?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tough Time Of Year

Dear  JJ,

This is a difficult time of year for me. Today would be Uncle Jimmy's 63rd birthday - the person you were named after. My brother, my friend- and the uncle who would have spent hours endlessly playing with you because he loved children as much as any person I have ever met.

He had many friends- and at his funeral people came from many miles around who had known him since he was a kid growing up in Ketchikan.

Every year Auntie Bev sends out a photograph of him with a bit of poetry that is the best descriptor of him. This is his photo and below are the words she sent out:

The measure of a man is not determined by his show of outward strength, or the volume of his voice, or the thunder of his action.  It is to be seen, rather, in terms of the nature and depth of his commitments, the genuineness of his friendships, the sincerity of his purpose, the quite courage of his convictions, his capacity to suffer, and his willingness to continue “growing up.”    Grady Poulard

James Erick Simpson
December 2, 1951~December 7, 2006
Loved By All

You have his smile, his sense of adventure- his love of people. No matter what you do in life, I couldn't me more proud of you for being like him.


The look
The smile