Let me tell you a story about a Great Great Uncle. I mean that in two ways. Great as in he was my dad's great uncle, and great as in he was the most wonderful man. My Uncle Ted was so wonderful that we gave our son his name.
When my brother Reid and I were little he was so much fun. Epic water gun fights with my brother was his specialty. Every time he would visit the water guns got bigger and bigger. My brother, Reid would always be prepared for him to come. Im not sure who ever won the battles but we will never forget those fun days in the sun. He crafted me a beautiful doll house when I was little, that I still have today. I have two little boys, so it serves the purpose of a parking garage for their toy cars.
My Uncle Ted loved the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Im not sure if he loved them as much as he loved the fact that we were Saskatchewan Roughrider fans and he could bug us about the teams rivalry. I think he just enjoyed teasing us so much, it made him become even more of a Blue Bomber fan.
He would find unique and creative ways to sneak a little blue and gold in to our lives. Our gifts always came wrapped in blue and gold, even our wedding gift had blue and gold streamers and beads hidden inside. He ALWAYS was prepared when we were around to be wearing his blue bomber colours, and we were always prepared in our rider gear! The image below is all of us at a family event. As you can see, we all LOVED this tradition - and we loved him.
He would always hide blue and gold somewhere when he would come, or find some way to trick us with a splash of some bomber pride. When my Uncle Ted passed away a couple years ago he did not want a funeral- but we still needed to give him a proper goodbye. On my parents 30th anniversary party, Stuart and I decided we would plant a tree in our backyard in honour of Ted. Does anyone else do this? Every single one of our trees on our property is in honour of someone we love. I went to the green house in hunt of a maple tree. He was an RCMP officer so It seemed fitting. I grabbed one of the two they had available. On the day of the anniversary party we said a few words and shed a few tears for Ted, and planted the maple tree together. On the bottom of the tree was a plastic wrapping that was advertising that the tree was a "shade tree." We took off the wrapping and placed the tree in the ground. Underneath that wrapping, was as clear as day - BLUE and GOLD. I don't know how he did it, but he managed to trick us, one last time.
The maple tree is in our back yard, so Stuart and I wanted my parents and my brother to also have a piece of the tree to have for themselves. For Christmas that year my husband made these frames out of pallet wood. Inside each frame is a few leaves I had pressed off the tree, laid on top of a picture of the tree with the words from "Just Breathe - Pearl Jam." I made lyric/tree pictures on www.picmonkey.com. If you want to know what song I am talking about you can take a listen by clicking here, its one of my favourites.
To make the frame Stuart pulled the pallets apart and cut each piece of the frame at a 45 degree angle. Notching the back of each piece with a table saw, to make a place for the glass and backing. We purchased the glass for the frames at the dollar store. We just bought frames and only used the glass. Then glue and nail the corners together and let them dry over night. The next day, put the glass and the pictures in. Use finishing nails, bend them over to hold the backing in place. He made three sets of three, so It did take a little while to complete these. If you were just making one they would be fairly quick.
These are the most meaningful and special decor in our house. Everytime I look at them, I think about that day we planted our maple tree and I think about Uncle Ted. He was a special man, and the most incredible Uncle to us. I'm so happy he got a chance to meet our Marshall, and I would guess that he is looking down from heaven VERY proud that there is a little Ted to carry on his name.
Miss you Uncle Ted! Until we meet again...