Cinnamon and God on a Monday morning in mid-Michigan
Checking to see if my son, Justin, reads my blog

My Uncle Ralph changed his zip code to heaven

My mom came from a family of twelve brothers and sisters, six boys and six girls.  This means that I had lots of aunts and uncles while I was growing up.  And because most of them lived in and around Bay City, I saw them frequently.

With the death over the weekend of my Uncle Ralph Moll, I now have one uncle left and two aunts. My Uncle Ralph is now in heaven after passing away two days after his 89th birthday.  

My mother's family left a huge imprint on my life.  They have a story that would match any of the Little House on the Prairie books with drama, excitement, family, hard times, survival and love.  I didn't always appreciate the sibling relationships that existed with them.  

Their parents died young while they were living on a farm in the Thumb of Michigan when many were still young kids.  The older ones including my mom kept the family together through a lot of tough times and going without.  I know that it was slog, mixed in with some good times.

Uncle Ralph was part of the group and one of the men that I looked up to as a role model on what it meant to be a man.  

He had three sons and a daughter.  His son Roger was killed during the Vietnam war.  

I thank God for my aunts and uncles.  They weren't perfect, but they provided a framework for life.  

Uncle Ralph now joins my mom and the others in the heavenly stands cheering on those of us still left here on earth.