My FOREVER Story: World's Greatest Uncle
By Arlene Watkins
In 2015, we lost our son to Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after a 5-year battle. While this loss was devastating to all of us, it was especially hard for his niece – my granddaughter. They were extremely close and shared a special bond.
As we prepared for Christmas 2016, I asked Alexis what she wanted for Christmas. Her reply? She said she wanted more time with her Uncle James. Since that was not something I could give her, I decided to make a special scrapbook for her.
The scrapbook includes pictures of my parents – her great-grandparents – holding Uncle James and her mother. There are pictures of her uncle as a baby, the sports he loved, scouting, and most of all, pages with her Uncle James playing guitar with his numerous bands – he was a fantastic musician. Music was in his soul! There are photos of James sharing that love of music with Alexis & her brother. There are pages dedicated to his battle, too, and with his fiancée who still has a special connection with her.
She’s also told her mother that she’s afraid that she’ll forget Uncle James’ voice. So, I sent a VHS video to FOREVER to have it converted. It is in my FOREVER account, ready for her whenever she needs to hear him.
At James’ funeral, Alexis wrote a poem and read it aloud. She was 8 ½ at the time. The ministers were prepared to read it, thinking she would back out at the last minute, but she read it without any help:
Your tickles make me smile,
We’ve come a long, long while.
Your cheeks are so rosy,
Your hugs make me cozy!
I love you so much,
I will always feel your touch!
She is following in her uncle’s footsteps, an artist through and through, playing trumpet (just like James) with her middle school band with an eye on learning guitar.
I plan to add many more items to my FOREVER Storage so she never has to worry about losing that special connection with her uncle. I can’t tell you how thankful I am to have this option, knowing that it will be there for her and for her children as she shares her memories of that special bond with her Uncle James. It keeps his memory alive.
I know this is the right thing to do, and so, with FOREVER, I have plans to help as many parents as I can put their memories into scrapbooks as well. That way, their families never lose connection with those children gone too soon.
Thank you, FOREVER!
Dedicated to: Our son, James E Watkins, III, 1980 – 2015: Guitarist, Musician, Web and Database Programmer; Intelligent, Creative, Silly, Loving, Strong, a Fighter; Not Afraid to Speak His Mind. Known as the Angry Gnome and World’s Greatest Uncle. Never forgotten; forever 34.