This morning I got a phone call from my mom…and I can usually tell from her tone whether it’s going to be good or bad news. I knew instantly something was wrong …so I took a deep breath and waited for whatever it was she was about to tell me.
Death is inevitable, but it something I don’t think about on a regular basis…it’s a pretty depressing topic…but every time someone I know passes …I’m forced to focus on it.
To cope or help with the grief … I usually pick one great memory of that person and replay that moment over and over again in my head. Most of the time I’ll smile and chuckle to myself….
Uncle Ollie owned acres of land, which he farmed ever since I can remember. With his own two hands he worked that field for decades, selling what he grew. Farming was his life, agriculture was his passion and hard work was his motto.
During the summer, sometimes I’d go and help work the field…my contributions were small, but it was fun hanging out with my cousins and riding around in trucks all day.
(I’m laughing already) This is a memory that I will never forget…
It was myself, my cousin Paul and my cousin Jason… we were in the field just playing … picking up dirt rocks and tossing them at each other. Kind of like dodge ball but with baseball sized clay. We heard a yell from the house “Stop throwing that dirt!” it was uncle Ollie leaning out of the door.
Obviously as kids one warning isn’t enough…we stop for about 10 mins then picked back up where we left off….
In the mist of our dirt bomb war...my cousin Paul starts running…. I think it’s just part of the game…he runs behind a stack of crates near the shed…. As I turn around I see Uncle Ollie in knee high rubber boots and a leather belt in his hand racing toward us. It was like a cheetah chancing down its prey. Jason and I both take off running...I mean within a blink of an eye Uncle Ollie had covered the 200yard distance. He could have given Jesse Owens a run for his money I’m sure…
There was a large hill about 10 feet in front of us ….our only chance of escape was to leap over the hill and run to the shed where Paul was hiding. Jason and I both headed for the hill… as I jump * pow * I get caught with the belt on my hand. Jason isn’t so lucky… I look back and see Jason on the ground in the fetal position taking shot after shot from the belt. Of course I felt bad…but I wasn’t going back to help! (I’d be terrible in the military)
After he finished Uncle Ollie calmly walked back to the house….Paul comes out from hiding , he’s laughing historically. Jason picks himself off the ground and looks like he just went though a gang initiation. I get off pretty easily with only a little swelling on the hand …but I did learn my lesson Uncle Ollie! =-)
You’ll be missed….