My Uncle Travis died tonight.  As someone who has a plethora of aunts and uncles, it’s a bit shocking to me how hard this news has hit me.

I think it’s because my own father died nearly 13 years ago, and my Uncle Travis has been one who I’ve looked to as a bit of a father figure since my own dad isn’t here any more.

My heart is breaking a bit right now. For his wife, who I am sure is devastated. For his daughters, who have suddenly lost their dad. For his granddaughters and grandson, who suddenly, inexplicably, no longer have a grandfather. For my mother and her ever-shrinking number of siblings who are burying yet another brother.

Some might call my Uncle Travis a bit henpecked. But he and my Aunt Betty signed notes and cards to each other MTYLTT- that was their shorthand for (I Love You) More Than Yesterday, Less Than Tomorrow.  He was the one I would escape with on Christmas Eve. We’d be sent on errands that would suddenly take us hours more than we planned to finish, and just visit with each other.

And the man made the best pots of coffee I’ve ever tasted.  When my own dad died, I was devastated. He had cancer, all over, and it was bad. His passing came much too soon, but I was a little bit prepared for it.  I wasn’t prepared for this. I’d been to a concert tonight, and on the way home saw that I had multiple voice mails from my mother. A sure sign something is wrong.

Rest in Peace, Uncle Travis,  you’ll be missed far more than you know.