I've been told many times that I've been named after him, but honestly, I've never really gotten more than that. My entire life I've lived on the other side of the country from him, always wondering what it would be like to have a stronger relationship, always desiring a fill to that pseudo void I've felt for a more involved father-figure. Whenever I do get the rare chance to see him (what, once every six years or so) he's always enthusiastic and makes me feel so important, missed, and loved. I find him oftentimes giving me much more credit than I'm deserving of, but instead of correcting him, I relish in someone finding me fascinating, intelligent, and interesting. When he's far away, he tries to keep up with all of his nieces' and nephews' busy lives, never lacking in showing support or enthusiasm in what's important to each of us.
I'm sure his day-to-day live is hectic and busy, with a wife, three children, and a grand-baby, but he seems to approach most situations with an open-mind, kind heart, and strong will. He's had his fair share of obstacles and rough encounters but knows how to keep his head up and urge others to do the same when their lives don't follow the paths that they had planned for. Watching how his life and children have evolved and grown, and knowing that he's had a hand in that, makes me look up to him more now as an adult than I ever could as a child. Now that I've started my own little family (consisting of a husband and a pup, but hoping to add some kiddos in the distant future), I find myself hoping that I become as content and approving of my own life as he seems to be with his. I also hope that after being married for (ummm how many years now?) as long as he has I can still be as deeply in love with my spouse as anyone can tell he is with his own.
Ever since I started this blog, he's been my biggest supporter and most avid reader and today is his birthday. This is for you Uncle Ray. Know that I miss you and the Frankles daily, wishing I could've had the opportunity to bond more with each and every one of you over the years, but extremely happy with the chances I did get to spend with you and hope to still get in the future. I love you and hope that today is a reminder that the world was changed the day you were brought into it, and in the best possible way.