My Uncle Jimmy was always a big joker. As kids, we loved to see him come by the house. He would pull coins out of our ears, make his arm flop around like it had no bones, and showed us his (politically incorrect reference) Machine, which consisted of him laying his hand on the table edge with the thumb sticking out. We'd wind up his thumb and his hand would flop around until it wound down, and we'd wind it up all over again. We'd laugh so hard our bellies hurt and Mom would be terribly upset that he'd wound us all up before bedtime, which seemed like when he usually showed up.
He was a big man (tall and around the middle) but had these sad droopy bag eyes that made him look almost like Jackie Gleason's relative. Unfortunately, one day he passed away. My wife and I came to the funeral ready to pay our respects. We met a woman just a little younger than ourselves there who had been a close friend of his in the few years before he passed. She began sharing stories of Uncle Jimmy and before the funeral we were already smiling and laughing in remembrance.
One request he had to the funeral director was that during the funeral he would like to sit up one last time and smoke his last cigarette. That image of him somehow putting the funeral director up to doing that kept us smiling throughout the service and even a giggle or two might have slipped out the more we thought about it. Sadly, he never did SPRING up during the service, which might have caused a few heart attacks and definitely would have had me rolling in the aisle. I miss him and I'll always remember him that way. I sure hope to see him in Heaven one day. I'm going to guess that he'll still be telling silly jokes and pulling practical jokes on everyone there too.