Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Letter for Larry

Larry McElroy
Dear Uncle Larry,

I trust this letter will reach you faster than snail mail.  Since time is of the essence, I'm enlisting the support of your precious children to ensure this note of encouragement reaches you in time.  Before we begin, please ask your nurse for some Kleenex.  No, it's not for you.  I know how strong you are and I remember you doing those stomach crunches on a 45º angle bench when I was a kid visiting you in San Diego.  You are one tough cigar-smoking geezer who has more love inside your belly than Santa Claus.  The Kleenex is not for you – it's for your children who will be reading this to you.  I heard there may not be time for snail mail, so I'm relying on the fastest mode of news delivery known to modern man.  It's "Tell-a-Mulligan."  God bless them all.

Speaking of Mulligans, I recall the day twinsie read a snippet from one of my dad's final letters when he was in a similar situation.  He wrote, it's not over till the fat lady sings but I think I hear her humming a few bars.  Damn the fat lady.  Why does she need to interrupt us when we're having so much fun together?

You will live forever in my memories.  No one barbecued more creatively than you with your grill made out of newspapers.

I want to thank you for all you've taught me, my siblings and everyone else as far away as Asia during your lifetime of public service.  You are the senior member of the "I'm married to a Mulligan club."  Some may argue, "Mulligans – You can't live with them, you can't live without 'em."  When we said good-bye to your precious wife, you proved that life can and must go on, even if God asks us to fly solo.  Your faith is strong.  You're tough as nails.  And you're surrounded by three loving children who aren't ready to let go of you.  Maybe you're a bit worried about what's going on right now.  Who wouldn't be?  When I'm struggling, I like to make lists.  Here are some ideas for you...
  1. Scotch.  No, it's not for you.  It's for the fat lady.  Bribe her.  Tell her you're not ready to leave yet.  Every moment you spend with your children will help them to cope when you get called up.
  2. Ear muffs.  They will be needed when you reach your final destination.  Put them on as soon as you see your mother-in-law, Alice, running to greet you.  You know what's coming.  It's the world famous scream..."AAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHHHH!!!"
  3. Your camera.  Ask my dad to get a picture of you and your precious wife, Mary.  He's a great photographer and he's pretty good with technology.  Ask him to smuggle the picture out of Heaven so the rest of us can get a glimpse of you and your bride.
One last thing, Uncle Larry.  Thanks for being a powerful mentor.  Your legacy will live on in your children and grandchildren as well as all the lives you touched in this world.  God bless you.



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