Marion Pellicano Ambrose
I met Uncle Bill for the first time twenty years ago. My husband and I married in
Florida and most of his family lived in upstate New York. The first opportunity we had
to go and visit was the following year, right after our daughter was born. I was very
nervous about meeting the “in-laws” Fortunately; the first person I met was Uncle Bill.
He’s a tall, broad shouldered man with a ready smile and a kind heart. He welcomed and
indoctrinated me into the family by regaling me with stories of my husband’s youth. I
learned about camping trips gone wrong, pig farming, hunting trips and even a few Navy
stories. His big bear hug made me feel like I’d known him all my life.
After visiting Florida a few times, Uncle Bill and Aunt Virginia decided to become
snow birds. I now have the pleasure of spending time with them, and my awesome
mother in law, regularly. We’ve braved Gatorland, enjoyed concerts and shared holidays
together. My children have had the good fortune to enjoy a fine grandfather figure, since
both maternal and paternal grandfathers died before they were born.
So why am I telling you about Uncle Bill? Because I wish all of you could have
someone like him in your lives. He’s a shining example of what a man should be. He runs
a “Meals on Wheels” route, but he often accompanies my mother in law on her rounds as
well. He’s the first to offer a helping hand to anyone, and the last to ask for anything for
himself. I’ve never heard a negative comment, foul word or criticism leave his lips. He
gets down on the floor to play cars with kids and stands up to let a lady sit!
He loves his family and is a loyal friend. He’s tolerant, willing to learn new things (he’s
my Facebook buddy) and while everyone else in the family still calls me “Marianne” 22
years after marrying into this clan, Uncle Bill remembers my real name! As far as I’m
concerned, everyone should be lucky enough to have an Uncle Bill!