"Leo the LION, he is strong and brave, when he gets angry, his tail will wave"
My recall goes back to as early or as late as when you Uncle Leo used to do your surprise visits from Jabalpur many, many, many . . . years ago. ( It does make me feel a bit ancient but not yet a fossil!! Ha Ha).Yes you would suddenly appear at the front door and Mum would be as nervous as she would be excited to be visited by her little brother. A quick hot dinner Mum would stir up for us all. And then of course I had this job of making sure' the driver ' got his meals.This was your side of always making sure others first before self. I remember standing and orating "Leo the LION, he is strong and brave, when he gets angry, his tail will wave". I do not know if you enjoyed it but it definitely was a great thrill for us.These visits then followed by a movie like 'Seeta aur Geeta"when we were a bit older. Now till date Uncle Leo, we have not seen the movie in total because we had to leave you to the airport. Another attempt failed again. So may be we could give it another try.
Now another incident that comes to my mind is seeing you off at Nagpur railway station-Don't know where you were off to. Anyway the joy of going to the station was always enormous. And the obvious -one does not pass by Nagpur without taking "THE ORANGES"with them. So the needful was done and we were escorting you up the ramp and suddenly this loud cry "Uncle Leo, Uncle Leo", and when you turned around you could see these oranges rolling down the station ramp, the basket burst open and all of us nieces and nephews running back and forth like the famous potato race collecting those lovely golden "Nagpur Santra"AND did you want to know us then? We are sorry about that absolutely appalling behaviour and am sure we are forgiven by now.
Time rolls on and now I am due for the 10th std results. I was summoned to the Archbishops house to meet" the bishop." Now what had I done!- anyway I picked up courage and walked up the stairs only to be greeted by yourself for having done well in my 10th Board exam and was hence given my first wrist watch. ( Reading this Dan and Karen laugh to think I did not use one till then), and why should I when TIME was never an issue for me then! I now had to enroll in "college" and did what no good catholic girl would do- joined "Hislop college". Now uptill then I was told no one who wanted to do a science stream would go to THAT college. So I was given an ultimatum- "If I did not get into Medicine , which was my one and only dream, out I would come from that college only to join SFS college. Now that was enough of an incentive to do only my very best and hence NOT study at SFS college ( till this day I do not know why I did not want to study there!)
Well as destiny would have it I did get into Medicine and hence escaped joining SFS. I must now thank you for the Suvega which you so kindly lent me for seven long years . Even though it roared along , at least people knew I was around the corner!
Then came the next big step in my life, when I met Darrell, he did'nt know how to address you, as Bishopbhai(your Nagpur title) or Uncle Leo, but he soon found that he was more comfortable with Uncle Leo, and so that's what it became. I cannot but thank you for joining Darrell and myself in Holy Matrimony, christening our two little (oops BIG!) bundles of joy -Karen girl and Dan, and all the love and affection you showered on me and my family.
Though we have moved miles and miles away -come on just think of it we are ONLY DOWN UNDER! thank heavens for the e-mails that can keep us chatting ever so often sometimes in the day between delivering a few babies!!
As much as we would like to be there for this auspicious occasion , we are there with you in spirit and in our prayers!
Three cheers for you Uncle Leo!!!
WITH FOND MEMORIES , LOVE , HUGS AND KISSES
DARRELL, ALTHEA, KAREN & DANIEL MAGEE