Parenting and family, served with a shot of vodka
This is my Uncle Stinky. He doesn’t stink, though. He just smells like love and bear hugs and family.
And that’s how he became Uncle Stinky. I still remember when we ran into him at a crowded mall on a Saturday. I was young, and ran down the mall yelling, “Stinkkkkky!”
If it embarrassed him, he didn’t say so. He just gave me a hug and that same beaming smile he has in this picture.
Robert — that’s his actual name — has always been like a dad to me. He was there when my own father was not.
He did all the things dads do: Taught me how to play poker, helped teach me to drive, helped me apply to colleges, moved me to Oregon for college and then to Illinois and back for jobs.
He’s given me advice, made me laugh hysterically, and was there for me after my mom was in a terrible accident that left her in a coma right before my college graduation.
If not for him, I may not have finished my degree that year because I was so distraught. But he reminded me how important it was to my mom, and to him, to graduate. I was so close — only two months away.
And so I graduated. And he was there, because my mom was in rehab, recovering from her brain injury. Although I know he would have been there anyway.
He walked me down the aisle at my wedding, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My awesome mother raised me on her own, but Robert has always a strong presence in my life.
Thanks for being there, and for letting me call you Stinky all these years. Happy Father’s Day.
I love you.