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March 24, 2009 - Jennifer Brookens
Despite the wonderful weather, this past weekend was a very tough weekend for me. Just as I've recovered from the deep grief of losing my father, it looks like I'm losing another man I looked up to all my life to cancer.

My Uncle Buddy is my mother's younger brother, but seeing him this weekend, he could've passed for her father. Since I last saw him in September, he looked like he aged about 20 years. It's so unfair, because he has always been so strong and powerful physically. But he has always had a kind and gentle heart. That was still evident as his eyes lit up as he saw us. He still loves telling his bad jokes and puns. And our crazy family continued to prove we were up to the challenge of making things memorable. It seems no matter the circumstances, whenever you get my mother's side of the family all together in one room, there are lots of bad jokes, sassy stories, laughter and love. And for this weekend, I think it's just what the doctor ordered.

My uncle is amazing, always wanting smiles and giving them. Despite the odds against him, he remains in good spirits for everyone around him and he's determined to fight with everything he's got. It makes me wish I had some sort of Midas touch, and I could give him that extra spark or boost to fight this awful disease. But instead I found myself lying awake at 3 a.m. feeling helpless and guilty that there is nothing we can do but hope and pray.

If only hope, prayer, laughter, and love could solve it all...


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