Saturday, May 05, 2007

Tribute to my Uncle

Today as my Uncle sits in the arms of an angel my family mourns his death. It’s all right though as each of us has the Lord beside us as we say our farewells. His body is gone from this world but his spirit will live on in our hearts forever. Today I will mourn in my own way as I pay a tribute to my uncle through my own words.

My life as an adult has taken me away from the closeness I once shared with my entire family. Though I’ve allowed some events of my life to push people away I never once allowed thoughts of the closeness we once shared to leave my heart. The impact each of them had on me as a child has always and will always remain. I may have been quiet as a child but always I was observant and very impressionable. Memories of my Uncle are of a quiet, loving and hardworking man who touched the lives of many people. I was in awe of him for many reasons. First of all he was the only person on my mother’s side of the family who never seemed to allow emotions to overwhelm him. I’m certain there were times he was sad, angry and frustrated but as I saw it he always found a way to manage those emotions without affecting those he loved and cared about. He was the most laid back, composed individual I had been exposed to as a child. Today I struggle at times to express myself in a positive manner and sometimes I even fail. I work constantly toward managing my emotions and maintaining composure and I use my Uncle as a role model to do so.

A second memory of my Uncle that has motivated me is a quality that he shared with my Grandfather. Both were very hardworking people who taught me the importance of doing a good job, doing a quality job and being proud of what I’ve accomplished and then finding more work. My Uncle worked on the assembly line at a General Motors facility in Delaware while at the same time he worked on the side as a painter. He did this to provide for his family. The money he made didn’t provide enough for them to live in a mansion drive a Jaguar or eat lobster for dinner but more importantly what it provided was enough to produce an atmosphere of love within their home. There wasn’t a time that I entered their house when I didn’t feel surrounded by the love he and his family expressed towards me. I never forgot that feeling and in fact as I grew into an adult I hoped that someday I too would have a family like his and live in that same atmosphere of love. He set the standard high and though I have found a way to accomplish a number of things I’ve never matched what he accomplished in his lifetime.

As I stood in the waiting room of the hospital where my Uncle laid dying I observed those that surrounded him. He touched the lives of so very many people in a positive way. He raised two beautiful daughters and a fine, hardworking son. Each in turn raised families of their own passing on some of the lessons to their children as they learned from their father. I saw qualities in his grandchildren that obviously came directly from him. He left his mark in this world and that mark he left will go down from generation to generation.

My journey through Death Valley last summer taught me many lessons that have allowed me to comprehend life in a different way. However the journey only made me more of a dreamer. I refuse to believe that the impossible can not be overcome and I convey that message to those that surround me. I made a promise to my mom a few weeks ago and assured her that it would come true if she believed. She believed in the unbelievable while at the same time making herself vulnerable to the consequences of reality. In the end she suffered more because she had faith. Badwater allowed me to understand life a lot better than I did previously but in no way did it teach me about death. I still say don’t ever give up. It may hurt more in the end if things don’t work out but I’d much rather live my life as a dreamer.

Dave B.


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