For Mother's Day this year my nine year old nephew made me a gift that touched me to the core. Completely self-motivated, he wrote an essay about his Tio Warren, with a photo of him and his uncle the day he was born. He wrote:
I remember about in 2012 my uncle died from a heart attack. His name was Warren Morrow. He was born July 26, 1977 and died February 15, 2012. I can't really remember what he did for a living, but what I do remember is he was a good guy. He got to meet Barack Obama in person and got to shake his hand. I guess he went on a cruise. He got to go to the soccer game that Shakira performed at. He is from Mexico and he was an awesome guy. At least I got to spend 5 years with him and it was phenomenal.
RIP Tio Warren. 5 years is way better than 0 years!
|My Mother's Day gift|
As you can imagine, I became a mush of tears reading his words, in his handwriting. I could hear his little voice reading it to me. Images of him and his uncle played in my head. It amazed me that he took the time to honor his uncle who has been gone almost as long as he was his tio.
|The writer and his Tio|
Warren enjoyed children one hundred times more than I did (do). He lit up when he was around them, and was so proud to be an uncle. He hadn't been around many babies by the time our first nephew was born, and it definitely opened a new side to him. He was always gentle and nurturing, but he became more urgent in his forward-thinking and desire to create positive change. We often talked about all that he envisioned for the kids in his life. He saw their utmost potential. Playing with them and teaching them came naturally and he frequently thought to include them in activities we did as a family. He, unlike me, did not mind being surrounded by kids.
When we learned about how many Spanish-speaking kids were in foster care and placed in English-speaking homes because there weren't enough bilingual homes, it went without saying that we would become licensed. We cared for six kids during that time. The kids bonded with him right away. Even the most intrepid, frightened child felt his protective, caring vibe and it helped them ease into life in our home.
When it came to his niece and nephews, there was nothing he wouldn't do for them, and loved them in a way that taught me a lot about the depths of family love, even when there isn't a blood connection. I can only hope that they continue to remember their uncle's love because I'm sure it beams down on them daily.
|Attacking Tio, a common game they mutually loved|