Uncle Ron is the one in the back row on the left, the one that is nearly as handsome as my dad. He passed away early Saturday morning. I want to write a few sentences in honor of him.
I always picture him with a smile that comes easily and with a laugh that accompanies it. He would tease me when I was younger. I remember a time that he instructed me to hold my cat in front of me with one hand on each side of it. Innocently, I complied. He then grabbed my forearms and pulled apart so that I no longer had a grip on the fur, and the cat fell to the ground.
Uncle Ron did lots of wood carving. We visited him once when he was camping in his RV with Aunt Donna. They also have a gorgeous condo in Northern Michigan. We always ate well at his house because in addition to Aunt Donna's cooking there always seemed to be venison jerky. Yum!
I remember my Uncle Ron faithfully caring for his first wife, my Aunt Carole, who was often ill. He was very interested in hearing about Molly and always commented positively when he received a picture of her in the mail. He suggested that my dad "smuggle her" to Michigan so he could meet her. Molly and I were able to visit with him last week. God must have ordained it because after a long morning of travelling and missing a nap, Molly was cheerful and perfectly behaved while at their home.
Like all cancer patients, he suffered. He seemed to be positive and uncomplaining. What a sharp contrast it must be to be in the throes of pain and to be instantly transported to fullness of life in God's presence. God's word says, "the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that is to be revealed to us." Jesus told the thief on the cross that he would be with Him that day in Paradise. And so I trust in God's provision of Jesus and have unwavering faith in the promise of heaven for all that believe.
I rarely forward e-mails that contain stories or jokes or chain letters. However, I found this one from my Grandmother-in-law to be simple and beautiful. As my Uncle Ron is in the last days of his life here on Earth, I thought it was especially meaningful.
A sick man turned to his doctor, as he was preparing to leave the examination room and said, 'Doctor, I am afraid to die. Tell me what lies on the other side.' Very quietly, the doctor said, 'I don't know.' 'You don't know? You, a Christian man, do not know what is on the other side?' The doctor was holding the handle of the door; on the other side came a sound of scratching and whining, and as he opened the door, a dog sprang into the room and leaped on him with an eager show of gladness. Turning to the patient, the doctor said, 'Did you notice my dog? He's never been in this room before. He didn't know what was inside. He knew nothing except that his master was here, and when the door opened, he sprang in without fear. I know little of what is on the other side of death, but I do know one thing... I know my Master is there and that is enough.'
I have written before about how faithful dogs are to serve their Masters. This is again a good reminder to me to spend time with my Master so I can better serve Him.
We had a busy week last week. My brother was in town for my cousin's wedding, and so we had an early birthday celebration for him and Molly. She wasn't too interested in her cake, but she loves her new presents. She also wore a lei the entire time and didn't try to take it off. My parents wanted to take Molly to her first circus. She enjoyed watching the action from Papa's arms. We then left Molly at home with her first teenage babysitter and went to the wedding. It was beautiful, and Molly seemed to do well at home. We are still trying to figure out the mystery of the five cheerios found in her crib...
Molly loves to push our stools around. She does not yet know that she has to push at or below the center of mass in order to keep them from toppling. We'll work on the physics lesson. She loves to clap her hands. Often, if I tell her, "Good girl!" She'll begin clapping. She loves to give kisses. She kisses the cat all the time. She'll open her mouth slightly and lean over to touch his back. She's also kissing us quite a bit. It's sweet! Mom and Dad babysat, and Ryan and I went to the Love Shack! A famous chef in town, Tim Love, has an upscale restaurant, but he also opened this entirely outdoors burger joint in the Stockyards area of town. The only indoor parts of the place are the kitchen and restrooms. There was live music, and we sat the highest level of patio seating overlooking the street below. It was really fun.
We took a family trip to Lake Murray in Oklahoma last weekend. We stayed at the lodge at the state park. The lake was beautiful, but it wasn't very baby friendly. We are used to Michigan's beautiful beaches and were disappointed at the beaches there. It is a manmade lake, as most in this part of the country are. We just went into the lake for a few minutes. We swam in the pool a little bit, too. It seems like a very fun park for older kids. There was mini golf, lot of playgrounds, and many water sports. There were also a lot of cabins and villas for rent- all air conditioned! The most difficult part of our trip was that Molly woke up at 4:50 am both days. She was too excited to sleep in the same room with us! The second morning we just left at 5:15 am and were home just after 7! We didn't want to hang around just to kill time for a few hours. We also visited Gene Autry, Oklahoma. It is the weirdest little town. There is basically nothing there except a BBQ restaurant, a huge Dollar General warehouse, a nice sized airport, a post office, 3 churches, a convenience store, and the Gene Autry Oklahoma museum. There were no fastfood restaurants even. The nearest town is at least 10 miles away. The Tex Ritter picture is with respect to my maiden name. The museum is packed with all kinds of film and concert posters and memorabilia. This small town and others we drove through reminded me of the setting of Napoleon Dynamite. Molly's little second cousin is growing up. Molly is good at giving the cat kisses, but we couldn't get her to kiss the baby.