Oct 14, 2009

EVEN THE CLOUDS ARE CRYING TODAY

My Uncle Connie was a good man. He was tall and handsome and he was very very funny. He lived with and took care of Grandma until she passed away, and then he married the love of his life, Aunt Linda. He was a father and a husband, a grandfather, a brother, a son, an uncle, and a friend. He worked hard for Ford until retirement, and he planted a huge garden every year. When we were little, he took all of us kids to Cedar Point and King's Island, and we had baloney sandwiches and red pop for lunch. He always had gum.

One summer, he and Aunt Linda came to Phoenix for a visit, and I don't think we did anything but laugh and eat the whole time they were there. It was the last bit of time that Mom was able to spend with her little brother, and I think that those days were the happiest for her during all of that chemo.

A lot of people in Lima knew him as Mike, because his full name was Constantine Michael. For me, though, he was always Uncle Connie. The last time Chrissy and I visited him, we were talking about the family, and he said "My mom and pop had all these kids with names like Mary and John, and Don, and JoAnn, and then I came along and they named me Constantine. Go figure."

I am left handed because of my Uncle Connie. We were at Grandma's...coloring in our coloring books, and he said "Connie Jo, you're using the wrong hand!". Of course, he was teasing me, but I immediately switched that crayon over to my left hand and it stayed there from that moment on. (I was Connie Jo then, instead of "Coni", and I never got over feeling bad that I changed the spelling of it whenever I wrote to him.)

When Stewey came along, my Uncle Connie would call me weekly to see how he was doing. I think the name cracked him up, since he always had a little laugh whenever he said it. He would send me every cute email about pets and their silliness, and I told Stewey that one of these days we were going to go over to Lima so that Uncle Connie could get a good look at him.

Uncle Connie passed away on Monday evening after a hard hard fight with cancer. The last time I talked to him, I told him he couldn't go anywhere until he got me down an aisle, and that even though I'm a 43 year old spinster I still had hope, and he said "I'm gonna' lick it, Connie Jo. So don't you worry."

Chrissy and I will go to the services over in Lima on Friday, and then I'll come home and try to figure out how to live up to his legacy. In the meantime, if y'all would say a little prayer for my Aunt Linda, Tiffany, Lori, and Lenny, all the grandkids, my Aunt Mary and my Aunt JoAnn, that would be great.

Constantine Michael Loukos
April 2, 1936 - October 13, 2009

The Measure of Man
Not how did he die, but how did he live?
Not what did he gain, but what did he give?
Not what was his station, but had he a heart, and how did he play his God-given part?
Not what was his church nor what was his creed, but had he befriended those really in need?
Not what did the piece in the newspaper say, but how many were sorry when he passed away?
Was he ever ready with a word or good cheer, to bring back a smile, to banish a tear?
There are the units to measure the worth
Of a man as a man, regardless of birth.

74 comments:

  1. So sorry for your loss. You will always have your memories and nothing can take them away. Take care of yourself.

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  2. Oh Coni, so sorry to hear about your Uncle Connie. May happy memories sustain you and make you smile during this difficult time. Take care and big hugs.

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  3. I'm so sorry you have lost your uncle. What great memories you have of your time together.

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  4. I send my most heartfelt prayers to you, your sister and the entire family. With deep sympathy and empathy I hope for you to be strong during this difficult time.

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  5. What a beautiful tribute, I always wish I had met people who made such a great impression in life. What a lucky girl you are to have had him as an uncle.

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  6. I'm so sorry for your loss. Your memories of Uncle Connie brought tears to my eyes and I know those memories will bring you joy once the hurting stops. His, and your, family are in my prayers.

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  7. I'm very sorry Coni - how lucky you were to have had him in your life.

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  8. I am so sorry Coni to read about the loss of your Uncle Connie. You and yours or in our prayers. Take care

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  9. Coni, I am so sorry for your loss. It seems he was a wonderful, loving person who has left your life richer and with many, many memories to lift your heart. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  10. Dear Coni, I am so sorry for your loss. I hope that the memories of time spent with your uncle will bring smiles in the midst of tears. What a beautiful tribute you wrote.
    Blessings,
    Julie

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  11. I'm so sorry to hear about your lost. He sounds like he was such a wonderful man. My prayers and thoughts go out to you and your family!

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  12. He will always be in your heart! Thank God we can't erase the memories. So sorry for your loss.

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  13. Uncle Connie was my mom's age, and that seems too young to me. I'm so terribly sorry to hear your news. I'll be thinking about you and the rest of the family. I hope spending time together at the funeral will bring all of you some comfort. You have so many great memories to share.

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  14. He was a great man. Leaving wonderful memories behind. You can rejoice over that. And miss him of course.

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  15. I will say prayers for you and all the family. Remember all the good times and know that we are all thinking of you. BIG HUG...

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  16. ((((((hugs to you))))))) I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I will keep you close in thought and prayer.

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  17. Coni, my heart goes out to you and your family. Reading about your Uncle Connie brought tears to my eyes as I remembered one of my uncles. I hope the time with your family sharing memories will be a blessing for you all. Have a safe journey.

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  18. I'm so sorry for your loss. May all your memories fill you with warmth and love at this difficult time.

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  19. Conni, my heart goes out to you and your family. Your Uncle Connie sounds like an amazing character. I hope his memory brings you comfort. Take care.

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  20. So sorry for your loss Coni. He sounds like a wonderful uncle.

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  21. (((((Hugs))))))
    It sounds like you have so many great memories to hold onto and remember him by.

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  22. Thinking of you at this sad time and saying a prayer for you all.

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  23. So sorry for your loss. It sounds like you have many great memories. Hopefully those will help you get through this difficult time. Peace.

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  24. I'm sorry for your loss. It's obvious you had a wonderful uncle.

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  25. Coni, lots of hugs coming your way! I'm so sorry for your loss! Your family will be in my thoughts during this sad time.

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  26. I send you my condolences from Germany. What a great tribute to your Uncle. I know how you feel. My mum died this year very unexpectably and it still hurts so much.

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  27. Oh, I'm sorry sorry about your uncle. He sounds like he was a wonderful guy.

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  28. My condolences to you and your family over your tremendous loss. I am sure you have and will continue to live up to his legacy, Coni. And I am glad your Uncle has no more pain.

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  29. Oh, Coni, so terribly sorry for your loss. I'll be holding your hand from now on until you get back home. My only uncle died when I was just a child but I still have some fond memories of him. Your Uncle Connie sounds like a fantastic and fun person to have been around. Prayers winging your way, and over to Lima.
    Hugs
    Debs

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  30. I'm so sorry for your loss, Coni. Your uncle sounds like a wonderful man. You're in my prayers. I hope Stewie gives you extra loving during this difficult time.

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  31. I didn't even know your Uncle Connie but your blog today brought tears to my eyes. I think as I'm getting older I realize more and more how precious our family and loved ones really are. The years pass so quickly that we forget that one day they will not be there and we won't be able to say things to them that we will wish we had taken the time.

    My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

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  32. how wonderful to have known him

    even through your writing his story brings lightnss to the heart

    good thoughts from here to there

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  33. De-lurking to say - Sorry for your loss, take care.
    Raewyn, New Zealand

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  34. Very sorry to hear about your family's loss. He sounded like a great guy.
    Tammy

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  35. Coni - I'm so sorry for your loss. Your Uncle Connie sounds like a wonderful man who will be lovingly remembered by many. You have my deepest sympathies, take care (((hugs))).

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  36. I'm so sorry for your loss. My deepest prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

    hugs
    -missy-

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  37. What a wonderful man he must have been to loved so much. I'm glad you had such a good man in your life ... I'm really sorry for your loss

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  38. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. Your memories sound wonderful, what family is about.

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  39. I am so sorry Coni. Your family is in my prayers...

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  40. Awww. I'm sorry for your loss. There's always at least ONE favorite Uncle isn't there?

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  41. Coni, I'm sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family.

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  42. Your words reveal a deep love between the two of you. Such love is the foundation for beauty. It seems he was a beautiful person and will be missed by many. I'll be praying for comfort and peace to you and your family.

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  43. So sorry for your loss. What a lovely tribute you have shared with us here.

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  44. Oh, such wonderful words put together so well to make me cry tears for the loss of a man I have never met. Coni you have a way with those words, you have a gift. I'm so sorry for your family. Michele

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  45. What a glorious man and a glorious life......You were lucky to have him in your life and he was well loved....and there is not much more you could ask for in this life!

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  46. Coni:
    I feel your pain, but hear the happy memories you have of your Uncle. Keep those close to your heart and know that your stitching pals in blogland are praying for you and your family.

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  47. You and your family are in my prayers. You have such lovely memories, hold on to them...in the end they are more precious than anything else in the world. Hug yourself for me since I can't do it...and hug the stuffing outta Stewey because he's a puppy and that's what you do to them.

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  48. Sorry for your loss. You will be in my prayers. Safe travels.

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  49. My condolences to you. My prayers go out to you and your family at this difficult time.

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  50. Oh Coni, I am so sorry. I am bawling--what a lovely tribute for what was obviously a wonderful man. My thoughts & prayers go out to your uncle's family, your sister, your extended family, and of course, to you. Big hugs. Tell Stewey you need some extra cuddles today and in the days to come.

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  51. I'm so sorry for your loss, Coni. Your tribute was so touching, and I'm glad you shared his photo with us. Just one look at his picture tells us what a kind and full-of-life sort of man he was.

    I'm thinking of you.

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  52. Coni,
    I'm so sorry to hear about your uncle. This post is a wonderful tribute. Hugs to you and Stewey.

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  53. Coni, so sorry about your loss. I was happy to read about your special Uncle.

    Take care.

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  54. I am so sorry for your loss; how blessed you were to have had such a wonderful person in your life! But, we both know that they never really leave us, do they??!! May your sweet memories of your Uncle Connie sustain you and your family...God Bless you!

    Your tribute would make him proud and warm his heart, I'm sure!

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  55. I'm very, very sorry for your loss and know your happy memories of your wonderful uncle will linger forever and guide you. Sharon in MI

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  56. You make me wish I'd known him, Coni. He obviously made the world a richer place. ((((hugs)))) to you and Stewey.

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  57. You have my sincere sympathy. Hugs.

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  58. I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  59. Coni,
    I'm a little late, but please accept my heart-felt condolences on the passing of your Uncle, and namesake.

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  60. Coni I am so sorry for your loss. Hold onto your memories! Your uncle will always be with you!

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  61. So sorry for your loss. Losing a loved one is never easy, however know that they will forever be in your memories and your heart

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  62. What a nice tribute you wrote and I know how hard that is to do. Hugs to all of you.

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  63. I'm so sorry to hear your sad news. Sounds like he was a very special person, one who was obviously loved and appreciated by his niece. Prayers for your and your family during this difficult time.

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  64. Very sorry for your loss. I lost my dad last year and know how it feels to lose someone so special.

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  65. Coni, I'm so sorry. My Auntie Connie passed away Wednesday morning, after a 2 year battle with cancer. Her funeral was just this past Friday as well. Your Uncle Connie sounds as wonderful as my Auntie Connie. And your reference to "clouds" in the name of the post is quite a coincidence, too. My Auntie Connie was always cleaning and scrubbing, and in her eulogy my sister mentioned Auntie Connie now being with Uncle Walter on "the cleanest cloud in Heaven." We'll always hold them in our hearts.
    With heartfelt sympathy, -Sheri

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  66. I'm a bit behind in reading your blog. So sorry for your loss my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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  67. What a moving tribute to a man that has meant so much to you and your family. May the happy memories of your Uncle always fill your life with the same joy as you experienced when they were made.

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  68. Coni,

    I am behind on blog reading and just read this post today. I am so sorry for your loss. I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.

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  70. I know that I am well over a year late on my condolences, but I still want to extend them to you and your sister for the loss of your Uncle Connie.

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