Yesterday, my family lost a beautiful man. My Uncle Larry died at the age of 65 from a long battle with Alzheimer’s. He leaves behind two beautiful daughters, Rachel and Erin, an awesome son, Neil, a loving daughter-in-law, April and two wonderful grandchildren, Wyatt and Ruby. He also leaves behind 4 brothers, 6 sisters, numerous nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews. Everyone loved Uncle Larry and will miss him greatly. Even though you think you’ve prepared yourself for this, to think he is really gone brings tears to my eyes and a heaviness to my heart.
One of my most distinctive memories of Uncle Larry was when I was little, I stayed at their house for the weekend. One morning when he walked into the kitchen, he said in a deep, Fred Flintstone voice, “Yabba dabba do!” You could always count on Uncle Larry for a laugh. I will always remember hanging out in his garage as the adults talked and then later as an adult myself. He would proudly show off his beautiful motorcycle, a Harley Davidson Road King. He also gave the biggest hugs and when he asked you how you were, it wasn’t a just a greeting, he really wanted to know. He was the uncle who would hold us up by the feet and balance us on his hand. He was the uncle who put me on his shoulders so I could see the airplanes better. He was always very generous to me and my siblings and he did so without recognition. He didn’t want anyone to know how much he did for others. I will always remember and follow his example.
Uncle Larry sold me my first car. He taught me how to take care of it and answered any questions I had. He gave me a detailed record of what was done to the car so that when I took the car to the repair shop, I knew what needed to be fixed and what didn’t. He taught me to how to be knowledgeable about my car so I won’t be scammed by a dishonest mechanic. I know he would be proud if he could see me deal with a mechanic who thinks I’m a stereotypical woman who knows nothing about a car. I know he would get a great laugh at the looks on some mechanics faces when I can speak the lingo. I may not know all the ends and outs of a car but, thanks to Uncle Larry, I know enough to figure out possible problems and how to fix them. I know what repairs can be done at home and what should be done by a mechanic, thanks to Uncle Larry.
The last time I saw Uncle Larry was in November and it was one of the hardest thing I’ve ever done. He was so frail and a shadow of the man I knew. But when he laughed and that smile lit up his face, I saw the man I love. He still had that spark in his eye. It is a strange comfort to know that he is no longer suffering. He is home in a new body and he has his memory back. He is reunited with his parents. I love you, Uncle Larry and miss you.
In loving memory
Lawrence Martin Bedard
January 15, 1950 – May 31, 2015