This doesn't have anything to do with the news, sports, politics, etc. This post actually has to do with my late uncle as my family approaches the one year anniversary of his death.
April 16th of last year, my Uncle Hal passed away after a long battle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. There are many people in this world I like, few I respect. Well, Uncle Hal was one of them. Uncle Hal was like the Pied Piper when it came to kids. As a kid I remember all of the insane things he would do to make the kids laugh. He would make outrageous faces, say outrageously random things, and had the rare ability to make the most cynical and grouchy person laugh. To say the man was the master of self deprication is like calling the Grand Canyon a hole.....
But then, there was the man with infinite wisdom and compassion for those less fortunate. Uncle Hal gave countless hours to charity, and along with my Aunt Marge developed a Peace Garden in downtown Minneapolis. The dynamic duo went to Japan, spoke with local and national leaders about the wounds that had not healed from World War II. When they came home, they developed their dream. Their dream has educated those about racism, and helped to heal so many of the wounds that existed from the American's treatment of the Japanese.
The man taught me about baseball, how to give, how to love, how to be compassionate, and the joy of writing. Uncle Hal's passion for all have made me the man I am today. (Well, aside from being cynical and sometimes snarky.......) Most of all, he taught me about what it means to be courageous. Uncle Hal suffered from ALS, but in many ways, I don't think he suffered. When I would call to see how he was doing, Uncle Hal would be the one who was trying to make ME laugh. Somehow with all that was going on, he was trying to teach everyone a lesson. The lesson being that life isn't so bad, just roll with the punches and hang on for the ride.
Rest in peace Uncle Hal, you deserve it, but we still miss you terribly.