"There are so many things swimming in my head and heart. Yesterday,, my Godfather, Henry Braaksma left this earth. I am going to try and put into words, how I feel & my thoughts sending prayers to our family. Uncle Henry officially came into our my family when he married Aunt Marie on his birthday, May 12th, and in fitting fashion, God took him on Aunt Marie's birthday, yesterday, June 29th. I say fitting fashion because Henry loved and loved big! He was meant to be in our family, from the lunches my Grandmom would prepare for Aunt Marie and Aunt Cori in Camden & working at the Shipyard w my Dad's father. There are no coincidences ~ Godinstances! Family is and was everything! God knew what was in his mind and heart and gave our family a message from Uncle Henry, as he was unable to speak for himself, at the end. I was the "5th Braaksma" and loved by Uncle Henry like his own. I don't often talk about my life and childhood, but there was a time when family life was rough for me. Uncle Henry was willing to take me his niece and Godchild to live with our family in Woodbury Hts. So, yeah I could've gone to Gateway w my cousins and the Busch kids, who incidentally were "my cousins." Grandma Braaksma and "Uncle" Fr. Francis, treated me as one of them. Lol, Fr. Francis told me when he was in for a family wedding, my marriage was next for him to officiate. Family. Some things about my Uncle: when he loved, he loved, he kept his word, he was stoic and never complained (even when the accident messed up his leg), he went w the flow and didn't rock the boat, once you were in his heart there you stayed ~ time, distance, right or wrong, there you stayed. I wish I had our family photos with me here instead of being in Bellmawr. I came across so, so many while going through photos when my parents died last year. Photos from our childhood and young adulthood of my parents, Grandparents, all our family together. Camden, Woodbury Hts., Bellmawr, amusement parks The annual cook outs w Braaksma and Busch and The Campbell family. Grandmom (and my mom) bringing massive amounts of macaroni and potato salad & deviled eggs w a special plate of eggs for Henry. My entire life was with the Braaksma and Busch family with occasional holidays and events with the Campbells. So yes, lots of love and memories. In addition to his great smile/laugh ~gave great hugs & lol, and in an Italian family, his loud booming voice was a perfect fit. I never heard him utter a curse word stronger than "damn" or a harsh word to anyone in our family. Many of the memories that Daria Busch, shared yesterday are ones I have as well. Driving in the back of his truck to watch fireworks, Dutch Wonderland & the antique cars, Oohing and Aahing in Crystal Cave, flat tires always on the Schuylkill Expressway, Hershey Park, Super Duper Looper, Great Adventure....all us kids pretending to sleep in Woodbury Hts., before our trip to the park because we heard his footsteps down the hall.. A few that stick out: playing hide and go seek in Woodbury Hts w all the cousins (Braaksma and Busch) & breaking my leg. Trying to hobble up the old red deck and Uncle Henry in his chair and my Dad on the couch laughing and watching TV. Them both telling me not broken because I could walk on it & Uncle Henry having me go up and down the step from the kitchen to the rec room. ***Laughing at us when we thought we won the McDonald's millions, but sitting at the kitchen table in Woodbury Hts going through pieces w us.*****Amazed that no matter what we ate for dinner, he only used 1 napkin *****Perfectly clean mechanic hands, never a drop of grease & the smell of the hand soap under the kitchen sink*****the annual announcement of "Turkey Lurkey Day." A very long post...miles make it hard to be home to say what needs to be said to my family. I am thankful to have had him in my life. He genuinely loved & respected our family. My parents and grandmother, genuinely loved him back...there was no "in-law" it was son, sister, brother. Lol, I can't remember which one your kids, Marie Carr, did a family tree and had me listed as "Aunt " and they were told it was wrong because I'm a cousin and the response was "not in our family." We are family and forever we will be. God rest your soul, Uncle Henry. Now you are with our family on the other side. I know you are with us always. I love you all ????? "