It's always hard to lose a family member, even one you don't get to see very often. My uncle Paul passed away last year, though he was blessed with a long life (88 years), an enduring marriage (64 years), and no pain on the way out. I think most close to him regard his passing with a celebratory tone of a life well lived, over a mournful one. His son, Paul, summed it up well with "he lived a wonderful life." Still, my heart goes out to my aunt Pattie, as it must be surreal on a certain level to spend the days without your partner of nearly three quarters of a century.
I think the most concentrated time I ever spend with my uncle Paul was when I was around six and we lived in Shreveport, Louisiana. He could be described as the strong, silent type, but always with a squinted, reassuring smile. He made a great impression on me and it's the sound of his voice I think I'll miss the most.
Several members of my extended family eventually coordinated a get-together in Point Clear, Alabama to celebrate Paul's life (and Thanksgiving), much the same way we did with my Uncle Russ in New Orleans when he passed, shortly after Hurricane Katrina. Tamara and I decided to drive down with the kids a few days early and spend some time with family in New Orleans, before making the trip East to Point Clear. We had an especially wonderful time and I even managed to shoot a few portraits. I didn't get everyone I wanted but I made sure to capture my aunts Carol and Pattie. And while their husbands weren't there in the flesh, they certainly were in spirit.
To see more of the photos from our Southern adventure, click here.