My Uncle Jerry died the week before last. I say died rather than passed away. Passed away indicates that you were sick or old. He was neither. A sudden stroke took his life, robbing the world of a great man.
My uncle was many things, but the two that stick out are intelligent and funny. At his funeral, the pastor that gave his eulogy mentioned these two things. He knew my uncle and it came through in his words. It was a very good service. I normally hate weddings and funerals because the person speaking usually has no idea of the people they're speaking of. This time, it was done very well. My uncle was very smart. One of the smartest people I've had the pleasure of knowing. But, if you knew him, you knew about his sense of humor. It was dry and methodical. A joke was a story with meaning:not just a one liner. He had a way of telling a story. There was no rush. He had thoughtful pauses and a sense of cadence. When the end of the joke or story was revealed, it had more impact. This also made him a good preacher. People felt comfortable with him. He was a great listener as well as a great speaker. If he knew you were troubled, he always lent a shoulder and an ear.
I always remember my mom talking about when my uncle first started dating my Aunt Sally. "He was so weird," she said. "He had these huge blowup pictures of rats on his wall." How funny is that? I thought that was the coolest. He walked his own beat. He was a great dad and husband. My heart is broken for my aunt. Watching her say goodbye to him at the funeral was one of the saddest things I've ever seen. They were married for well over forty years. They were always a model for me of what a good relationship is. The last time I saw him was at Bob's funeral. His presence was enough to comfort me. But, he went above and beyond by talking to me and trying to provide some solace. My aunt gave me an envelope with money. Money that kept me and V afloat and on our feet until we got things figured out. That's something I'll never forget. That's my aunt and uncle- huge hearts. They raised two tough kids. It's hard seeing them in pain. I know neither of them want to show it. They're very strong. I would give anything to take away the pain for them. My poor aunt. This is such a devastating blow. I worry so much about how they're all doing everyday. I'll never process my own grief because I'm too worried about them. However, when my cousin, Jeri, called and told me he died, I cried so hard. V comforted me. "Mom, you were there for me, I'm here for you." he said. It was so sweet. A child should never have any idea about grief, but he does.
I can't put into words what a cool guy he was. He was a lifetime father figure to me. He was the rock to the McClure family. Their beautiful hearts are shattered without him. If you had the pleasure of knowing him, you are blessed. Miss you, Uncle Jerry.