Uncle Gary

My Uncle Gary died on Wednesday.

He was an amazing man.  His gentle spirit.   His kindness.   His lack for words spoke louder than any of mine ever could, and I always saw him as an example of grace, kindness and warmth.

I remember him first riding on his John Deere tractor, as I rode behind him on PJ, a horse.   I would chase after him in the corn fields of Michigan, often delivering him his lunch from my Aunt Donna.  That  was back in the day when a 10 year old girl could ride a horse by herself through corn fields unsupervised, mind you.  Uncle Gary never had much to say when it came to me and the horses and Aunt Donna.  He was a farmer, plain and simple and honest.  He was such a sweet and kind man.   Aunt Donna was definitely the lively spark there.   Uncle Gary (as with my own husband) just went along with it.  I always thought their differences were amusing.  She was so alive and boistrous and yet he was semi-silent in the background, but always present and steady.  She, an art teacher, and he a farmer.  Yet united in marriage and I always saw them as a team.  I don’t recall ever seeing them argue.

The one time I went flying outta the saddle Uncle Gary was right there.   Back then I guess I never thought I was supervised and felt the freedom of such but now, looking back, I realize he was watching me all along.  He knew where I was and better yet, he knew where PJ was the whole time I was on their property.   He knew that horse wouldn’t hurt me and would return me to safety in spite of my dumb ass.  I flew off of that horse via a stinkin’ horse fly and that dang horse stood still until I got back up on him and I remember seeing Uncle Gary on his tractor in the distance, making sure.  Now I remember.  He gave me a questionable “thumbs up?” when he saw me on the ground an acre away and I scurried back up and nodded yes.  He kept on with his farming at that point, noting that I was safe.  I don’t think we ever even discussed it.

He was easy to laugh and always had a smile on his face.  Gentle is the best word I can use to describe him.  He was truly a gentle man.  I’m going to miss Uncle Gary.  He didn’t talk much but when he did, he made those words count.  I wish I could say the same.  We could all learn a lesson from Uncle Gary.

My heart goes out to Aunt Donna and her daughter, Genia.  I can’t imagine how hard it must be to lose your best life-long friend.  I’ve only been married 8 some years but I can’t imagine life without Johnny.   Aunt Donna had a life for 54  years with Uncle Gary and I can only imagine the hole in her and Genia’s heart and home.  I would sob just looking at his slippers.  I didn’t know much about Uncle Gary, looking back now but what I do know is I guess what truly matters.  He was kind.  He was gracious.  He smiled a whole lot.  I would be so lucky.

Godspeed to Heaven, Uncle Gary.

 

 

3 thoughts on “Uncle Gary

  1. Wendy says:

    So sorry for your loss ❤

  2. Donna says:

    Oh, Jen, I laughed and cried, I remember well. Bless you my dear. Donna

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