His voice is gruff but warm. Whenever I see him, no matter how old I get, it's always, "how ya doin', kid?" His hugs are short - almost oddly so - but intense. If his hugs were handshakes, they'd be the kind you need to give your wrist and fingers a little wiggle after. He has a twinkle in his eye. It sounds cheesy but there's no other way to say it. You can tell there's been no shortage of tomfoolery or shenanigans in his life. His friends call him Cougar. I call him Uncle.

He worked hard and he played hard. He loved his family. He could tell a story and have you laughing until you couldn't breathe. He threw a mean party. He put cream instead of milk on his cereal. He lived hard and loved hard.

I saw him yesterday, as he floated in and out of morphine consciousness. He didn't open his eyes. He didn't speak to me. He just kept saying the word "hurry." I know he is on the good drugs and I know he's in the fog of the end, but out of all the words he could be saying, why hurry? I hope he is hurrying to my auntie. I don't believe in God but it's times like this that make me wish I did.