For the first time, I buried someone I knew. When I say "buried", I mean that I helped dig the hole, set it up for the ceremony, lower the casket, and put dirt in the hole. You see, this is the third summer I've worked at my cousin's cemetery as part of the grounds crew.
Funerals - the passing of a loved one - is a very private matter. I suppose I wouldn't normally blog about this but how often does one actually bury a friend or family member, right?
Urban's mother ("Aunt" Hano) was my Grama Datka's (mom's mother) best friend since they were 13 and Aunt Hano, Uncle Roy and Urban were close to the Datka family. I'm close in age to Urban's son, Brett, so we spent many occasions at my grandparent's farm in Hales Corners or Aunt Hano & Uncle Roy's home.
As the year's passed, I saw less of Urban and his family. 6 years in Iowa then 12 years in Los Angeles was quite the time away for me. Brett and I reconnected on Facebook and it was through emails that I found out of Urban's passing.
Urban's obituary is listed here. There are many things Urban was known for...he still owned his first car, a 1930 Model A and his love of model railroading and photography (both passed down from his father). Uncle Roy's railroad in the basement was something legends are made of and kept us entertained for hours. But what stood out most about Urban was that he was one of the kindest, most affable people I've ever known. If he was around and we were visiting Aunt Hano, Urban (who lived next door) would always come over and say "hello". Always. He was engaging - he didn't talk down to you - he looked you straight in the eyes and smiled and conversed like he was fascinated with everything you said. And that's because he WAS.
Again, my deepest sympathies to Urban's wife, Marilyn, his children, Wendy and Brett, their spouses and the rest of the family. I took great care of Urban, Marilyn, as you requested. ;)
You are missed, Urban.
I feel so strongly about graffiti in public lavatories that I signed a partition - What? Why are you looking here? The joke's self-contained in the headline. And it's GOLDEN.
3 days ago