Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Belated Birthday to a Dear Friend

December 14th was my Uncle Walt's birthday. I say "was" because he passed away back in 2008. I also should clarify that he is not my actual uncle, but rather just a very good friend of our family (see this blog post about Aunt Gail - Uncle Walt's wife).
Uncle Walt was such an inspiration to me. He struggled much of his life with cancer. He would go back and forth between beating it, to it beating him, but always managed to keep a smile on his face throughout. He also gave the best hugs IN THE WORLD. If you were ever feeling down about anything, a hug from Uncle Walt would cure it in a second. But the real reason Uncle Walt was such an inspiration was his genuine and absolute love for the Lord. Even though he was battling cancer, and he was sick most of the time, he knew that God was in control, and that there was nothing he needed to worry about because ultimately he was in God's hands. Of course Aunt Gail went through many struggles herself caring for her husband. She was under a lot of stress, but she too kept God at the forefront and took comfort in the fact that Uncle Walt's illness was part of God's plan and that there was greater meaning in all of it.
Hanging in my cubicle, I have a Christmas card from Uncle Walt and Aunt Gail that on the front has a picture of them standing by their car around a license plate that says "LET US GO." This always made me laugh, until I found out why their license plate says that. On the inside of the card, there is a poem written by Aunt Gail that has a different word for "go" to represent each town that each of their family or friends live in.
Like this:
Announce it in Alloway
Bring it to Bellbrook
Carol it in Center Valley
Declare it in Dunellen
Extol it in Enon
Focus on it in Fort Pierce
Go, tell it on the mountain and in Galax
Honor it in Hampton
Inform everyone in Indianapolis
Justify it in Jacksonville
Know it in Kettering
Laud it in Lakewood
Manifest it in Middlesex
Notify everyone in Newark
Orate it in Omaha
Proclaim it in Piscataway
Quote it in Queens
Rejoice in it in Richmond
Share it in Stewartsville
Tell it in Tulsa
Understand it in Union City
Verify it in Vista
Welcome it in Washington
Xerox it in Xian
Yodel it in Yellow Springs
Zip it along in Zanesville
Then, she closes with "Wherever we are, whatever we are doing, let us go and tell the Good News of a great joy...for to you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10a,11)

I love that! They had a town for every letter of the alphabet.

I miss Uncle Walt a lot, and sometimes get all misty-eyed when I think about him. But he has made a lasting impression on my life in that he has made me appreciate God's power and love. No matter what our circumstance, God is in control, even if we may not like it. And if God decides to take us home, we don't have to be afraid because we are going to spend eternity with Him in heaven! So, happy belated birthday Uncle Walt. I love you and miss you, and look forward to seeing you again one day in heaven.

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