He is one of the last World War ll veterans. He was in the Korean War. But like most of these men, he never talked much about it. It wasn't that it was not important, it was very important. . .but some things you just keep to yourself.
I have always known him as a very quiet man but with a quick, dry wit. When you least expected it, he would shoot something from the mouth that would send you off laughing. I think it was even funnier coming from him, because it was so unexpected.
He has always been such a dignified, sweet, gentle man. In fact, put those last two words together and that is the perfect picture of my Uncle Ed. . .a true gentleman. He is one of the rare birds who always opens the doors for you, holds out his hand to help you out of the car, takes you by the arm in so gentle of a way and walks next to you, not in front, not behind, but by your side and then steps out of the way to let you enter a building or room first. He is so respectful and thoughtful.
He is my father's brother. My mom and dad divorced when I was a little girl and dad was completely out of mom's life after that. But his brother, my Uncle Ed and his wife, my Aunt Shay were not. They were in her life and mine forever.
Aunt Shay and mom were best friends until Aunt Shay's passing in 2003. She told my mom once years after the divorce, that my dad is the one who divorced her, not her and Ed. I've always thought that was remarkable. My uncle did and still does help my mother financially every month. He doesn't have too. He wants too, because he cares. Remarkable!
I'll always remember him as the man of few words but I'll never forget the scene in the hospital in 2003. He and I were standing in the room looking out the window together as his wife lay dying behind us. He had his arm around me and said, "We love you Kristy." It was the first time in his 82 years, in my life, that I heard him say those words. But I always knew it. He took care of me in one way or another over my years whether it was having me come out to their Colorado home one summer back in the 70's when my mother was going through a difficult time. He knew that was a difficult time for me also and wanted to give me a break. Like the time when one of my first cars I had as a teenager had brakes that went out and I was a broke teen. It was my uncle who left money on my dresser, quietly, so I could have the brakes fixed. As I was growing up, it was he and my aunt who bought me new clothes to start out the new school years. And every Christmas I receive a card with money in it. He never forgets. Such a quiet man but so full of love.
He is 92 today. He has been living in Texas with his daughter and son-in-law for the past four years. The son-in-law, Doug told me the other day on the phone that he is a better man because of Ed. I have no doubt! I'm sure everyone in Uncle Ed's presence is a better person because of him. I know I am.
I hope the art of being a gentleman does not die off. This world has changed so much since World War ll and the days of dressing up to go to a movie. But Uncle Ed never changed and I am blessed to have had the privilege of seeing up close a real live gentleman and being loved by one.
Happy Birthday Uncle Ed! I love you too~
Today, January 21, 2014
my Uncle Ed passed away.
He is home with Jesus!
(Actually this is not a new ending. . .it's a new beginning!)
In honor of Uncle Ed