When she was younger, my cousin Allison’s daughter Callie called my mom “Uncle Deanie” instead of “Aunt Denalyn.” The Deanie part, understandable. Denalyn is difficult for most adults to pronounce. The Uncle part, hilarious. And so it’s stuck for several years and often times I, my sisters and brother-in-law affectionately refer to my mom as Uncle Deanie, or sometimes just Dean for short (I’ve never actually written out these nicknames before, so I’m spelling phonetically). This nickname says a couple of important things about my mom. For one, she knows how to laugh at herself –a characteristic so necessary in life–and embrace something like being referred to as an uncle. Second, nicknames are a term of endearment, so the fact she has two that we use so frequently shows she is so endeared to us.
Last year I wrote a letter to my mom on my blog in honor of Mother’s Day, and this year I did, too, but I mailed it to her. Yes, like a real letter. Well, it was a letter inside a handmade card, which has been a Lucado tradition for as long I can remember: homemade cards and usually breakfast in bed. I’m not home on Mother’s Day this year (nor was I last year), so we had to settle for a couple of quick phone conversations and a special Andrea Creation card mailed from Tennessee.
But I’ve carried Uncle Deanie around with me in my heart all day, as I do every day, whether aware or not.