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The Other Man in My Life

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One of my earliest biblical teachings “it is more blessed to give than to receive” makes me believe that surely you have reaped an abundance of God’s blessings.

What a beautiful gift I have received, having a uncle whose life depicts the very essence of giving.

My earliest recollection of you was being bounced on your knee and enjoying the playful attention given to me. Your visits to our home were often and the treats you brought well remembered. Whenever I enjoy a ginger ale today I’m reminded that it was you who brought the big green bottles containing the delectable drink that tickled my nose when I took a sip.

The most cherished memories of my childhood was the time I spent at my grandma and great grandpa’s home. I am grateful to you for those memories, for they wouldn’t exist if you had not given so freely of your time and transportation. Upon request, you would pile my mother, myself and other siblings into your car and head to Richmond. Make a stop at an aunt’s house and pick up another child. Not ready yet to continue the journey to King and Queen County. You headed to the market and loaded the trunk with bushels of produce and meats to include a huge hunk of bologna. The next stop would be grandpa’s house. Ah yes, the trips to and from grandpa’s house during Christmas vacation were highlighted by the many decorations. Especially seeing Santa in his sleigh pulled by his reindeer high on the rooftop.

In my teens, I continued to admire your generosity when you and your wife, shared your small apartment with your mother and sisters. Later, I too was granted that privilege. After I graduated from high school and got a job in Richmond, without hesitation, you allowed my best friend and me to stay in your home. Moreover, to supplement my income, you gave me a job (working Saturdays) in your little country store in Hanover. It was indeed a pleasant experience.

Time and time again, whenever I visited, you shared vegetables from your garden, not only with me, but other relatives and neighbors alike.  Your expertise in gardening resulted in bountiful fruits that were enjoyed by many.

In the most recent months, I’ve admired even more the tender loving care you bestowed on your wife during her terminal illness. You were present to care for her needs and most protective to ensure she did not need to suffer unnecessarily. Whenever I visited in an effort to lend support, I came away feeling it was you who gave all the support needed.

May God bless you, my uncle, for your lesson in giving. I, for one, am eternally grateful and I love you.

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