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Monday, October 28, 2013

What a lucky girl I am

Today was the ending of a very emotional time in my life.  Today we buried my dear Uncle Herman.  

I have several uncles but my uncle Herman was so much more than just an uncle to me.  I think of him as my 2nd father.  I think that is why for some it has been hard for them to understand how deep my grief has been.  As many people know I lost my mother 18 years ago to a sudden illness and honestly I was so scared because I had a 2 1/2 year old daughter plus my 10 week old daughter.  I had no idea how I was going to manage bringing up my girls without the help of my mother.  But my Nana Pat and Uncle Herman stepped right up without missing a beat to serve as surrogate grandparents for my girls along with surrogate parents to me.  
I was adopted in November 1966 and was the first grandchild on my mother's side of the family.  The Lord blessed my poor mother by letting my Nana Pat live directly across the street so when I was up crying night after night, Nana Pat was there to help my mother.  My Uncle Herman was off in Vietnam fighting the war so Nana had time to spend with me.  
  I have to admit it probably took 2 sets of parents to raise me.  I think I was quiet a handful.  But as the years went on even when they had their own child, my cousin Krisie, (who is just like a sister to me) I always knew I could depend on Nana and Herman.  My Nana was known around town as the Girl Scout Lady but rest assured Herman was the Girl Scout Man.  
He always backed Pat up on what ever she was under taking - if it was baking 25 coconut cakes to give out at Christmas or feed the entire family every Sunday what seemed like a Thanksgiving meal, he was right there helping out. But he was never a proud or boastful man, never one to want to receive any credit for anything he did.  He did the things he did because he wanted to and certainly not for any recognition. 
He had a job that required him to travel often but he always made sure he talked to my Nana at least twice a day.  When I think of an example of a loving and faithful husband I always think of Uncle Herman.  I hope that one day my children and others will think that way of my marriage although we are somewhat more vocal in our disagreements than either of them were.  
My uncle was the rock or maybe the corner stone of our family.  If I ever needed advice or an opinion on something we should do I always knew I could go to him.  He just played such an important part in my life.  And in so many others.  
Herman was a very educated man but never did he make anyone that was not as educated feel like less of a person.  He was a faithful member of his church and played so many roles in keeping the church going and on track.  He never tried to push his way on others because "it was his way" but rather he was always open to discussion to see if perhaps there were other ways or changes that needed to be made to his suggestions that would make it better.  
He served his country in Vietnam and received the purple heart.  He was faithful and loyal to his country. 

 He was faithful and loyal to his wife.  He was faithful and loyal to his daughter Krisie, granddaughter Lindsay and grandson Brandon.   He was also faithful and loyal to my sister and me.  We were merely his wife's sister's adopted children but at no time  did he ever make us feel any less a part of the family.  When my precious sister Susan fought her courageous battle with breast cancer I do not know what we would have done without my aunt and uncle.  They helped us in far too many ways for me to ever thank them for.  They were preparing for her to come live her last days in their home.  Although it never came to that,  my nana was right their in Houston holding her hand when she went to her heavenly home.  
I have never once doubted that if I ever needed a place to live or anything else I could ask either of them and it would have been offered to me with no strings attached.  

As I sat in the service today celebrating this remarkable man's life so many different things ran through my head.  He was such a remarkable man who could be serious one minute and then making us laugh so hard the next.  He was someone I could depend on and someone I held in very high respect.   I respected his love for his God that I do not think anyone ever questioned, his love for his family, his commitment to his job and to his church.  
I just could not seem to keep my emotions in check today.  I had witnessed this strong man have to fight a battle with cancer and all of the horrible ways it took a toll on his body. All I could think of was why?  This was so unfair for this wonderful, loving man to have to suffer the way he did.  But my Uncle Herman left this world with all the dignity he had earned.  I never once heard him ask God "Why me?", although I have ask that question and I still am asking that question but rather he wanted to continue with experimental treatment as long as he could on the off chance that something could be learned that would help other people.  
I do rejoice in the fact that when he left this earth for the Heavenly Home our God has waiting for us that he was greeted by all of our loved ones that have gone before us.   And although right now it is hard for me to think about him no longer being in this world with us sitting at the head of the table for Sunday dinner chomping on those hot peppers, not here on Christmas to read the Christmas Story to us as he always has but rather he is rejoicing with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and I know when my time comes to join my Heavenly Father this special, special uncle of mine will be there to greet me with open arms into my heavenly family just like he welcomed me with open arms when I was a 4 month old orphan and  I became a member of his family.  Wow, what a lucky girl I am.