Thursday, January 8, 2009

Uncle Don

Goodness! I just can't seem to get back into blogging. It's been a roller coaster ride during this holiday season. It seems that it always is, though. We get so wrapped up in plans, activities, family and gifts that we fail to remember that it's all about the birth of our Saviour.

A week before Christmas one of my favorite uncles died. He'd been slowly succumbing to a lung disease brought on by exposure to asbestos during WWII. He kept up a cheerful attitude throughout these last 3 years. Hardly able to breathe after a walk from the bedroom to the kitchen and bent with pain from back problems that had plagued him for years, he still kept his good nature.

He and my mother's sister married quite young. After he showed up for their first date on a motorcycle, my Aunt Doris said Grandma told her that she would always have orange crates for cupboards.I guess that was her definition of poverty. They did, eventually, live in very nice homes.

His ship was off the coast of Japan when the armistice was signed. He drove a big rig for years and had many teamster awards. Once after hearing of a kidnapped woman on the CB, he followed the car and blocked the road with his truck until the police arrived. He outlived a newborn daughter and a 24 year old son.

When his health began to fail, they sold most of their possessions and their home, bought a motorhome and spent the winters in Arizona and traveled to see family and friends during the rest of the year. He said that was his dream to have done that. Even this last year they bought a little red Volkswagen just for fun. Looking at this picture of the young man with the dreamy eyes and bushy eyebrows. Do you suppose he ever imagined what life had in store? I think his example to me was that he lived his life to the fullest. Through heartbreak and tough times, he still found things to wonder at and enjoy.

Uncle Don 1925-2008


Anonymous said...

A very touching post. So sorry for your loss.

Mary Perry said...

I know this has taken you a while. Hopefully, typing it out was therapeutic for you. So sorry for your loss.

Far Side of Fifty said...

A very nice memorial for your favorite uncle. It sounds like he was a happy guy and lived life to the best of his ability! It is not easy when one of your favorites die:)

tipper said...

Uncle Don sounds like an amazing person! Our older veterans are dying at a fast pace-taking all those wonderful insights into WWII with them.

Aunt Dinah said...

I'm so sorry to hear you lost your Uncle Don right before Christmas. He was obviously an amazing and wonderful man who will be missed by many people. What a blessing he lived to be 83 despite his health problems. We owe so much to our veterans and take for granted so much they fought so hard for. I agree that when an older person passes away, he/she takes so much wisdom and knowledge with them! And then the younger people left behind seem to have to learn the hard way for themselves. Too bad there is an effective way to pass down more hard earned knowledge from generation to generation.

Aunt Dinah said...

Whoops! I meant to write, "Too bad there ISN'T an effective way to pass down more hard earned knowledge."

Vonita said...

Uncle Don must have been an amazing man.
Have orange crates for cupboards? lol. This makes me think of my mom and dad. They were 17 and 18 when they got married and everyone said it would never last. They've been married 63 years last December. Amazing how often people are proven wrong.
Sorry for your loss.