Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Mickey is the final uncle. His real name is Michael. I told you we managed to nickname all of them.
Mickey is barely 3 years older than me. As a matter of fact for four days each year he is only two years older. I was born four days before his third birthday.There are two cousins older than I am and one of them is actually older than our uncle.
We pretty much grew up together. Until I began having little lefties of my own Mickey and I were the only left-handed people in the family. In the 50's left-handed baseball gloves were hard to find and a bit more expensive. Mickey got one as a gift. If we were picked to opposite teams we each used his glove to play baseball.
Mickey was not as "into" all sports as Keith and Donnie. Baseball was what he played. He liked watching them all on television when he was older though.
So Mickey was often with us when we played. We went exploring together, played hide-and-seek and kick-the-can together, and caught snakes together.
I remember one Christmas when we went to the farm to visit after opening our presents from Santa Claus. I rushed in to ask Mickey what Santa gave him. He told me he was too old for that. I was really confused. How could he be too old? He was my age.
Mickey married a very nice young woman. They had two sons. Both were diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. So was his wife. The boys were poster children for the Jerry Lewis campaign in their state one year.
Then Mickey was in a terrible car accident. His legs were both severely injured and the doctors were not sure if he would be able to walk again. He does walk but it is not easy and he uses canes to help support himself.
His wife suffered terribly and eventually died from her disease. The boys were teenagers and had been living in a facility that helped them learn to function on their own. They both did well even though they were not on the same level developmentally.
His younger son died many years ago. Complications of his disease. The older one died about two years ago. Again complications of that horrible disease.
My uncle remarried about 15 years ago. His wife is really sweet. She cares so much about him.
For a while Mickey worked in the stands at the Cornhusker football games. It gave him a chance to be among people and sort of watch the games.
For the past few years he has been battling cancer. It is a rough fight. So far he is ahead.