Sunday, April 24, 2016

Uncle Ray

Update 2/1 – 2/7

I spent this week catching up at work, and then struggling to stay away until 8, which I felt was an appropriate time to go to sleep.  Some days I made it, other, I definitely did not.  So let’s call those 5 days a blur of boring. 

On Friday evening I decided to drink an entire bottle of wine myself and throw myself into cleaning/unpacking my second bedroom.  I called Janette to keep me company while I sorted – and lucky that I did, because it happened that she was coming into town the next day!

On Saturday, I continued to clean and I found a couple of gems like the thong that Julie made me (actually one for each of us) to wear under our gowns for graduation.  I think we had a thing going where we gifted each other random underwear for a while, b/c I also found a bejeweled satin thong that was incredibly heavy for the little amount of fabric that it was made of. 

And then I went to Anderson’s baptism.  It was awesome to see Dr. Rach’s whole family in attendance.  That same family was in the first pew to witness the embarrassing spectacle of me, after 28 years of successfully getting communion, I missed my mouth and almost dropped the body of Christ.  I, thankfully, made a miraculous, albeit awkward save only to look up and see Dr. Rach and her sister cracking up at me. 

Sunday I met up with Janette, Neville and Azalea for about ten minutes – I’ll take what I can get!

It was also Super bowl Sunday, so Kelly and I drove to one of her friend’s house to watch the game.  No sooner did I walk in, did my mom call me with really bad news… My Uncle Ray had died. 

There are no words to say how much I cared about my uncle.  I think it’s safe to say that the next couple of emails are going to be on the sad side, but I’ll sprinkle them with a couple of stories about the man who brought so much wisdom and strength into our lives.  Living with him for 12 years was truly a gift, and I am so thankful that I got to know and love him for so long.  I didn’t just live with Uncle Ray – I talked to him daily over coffee, one of my favorite times of the day.  I got to know the everyday Uncle Ray.  What he really enjoyed, what he hated, what was stupid, what was acceptable.  Uncle Ray would sometimes, take you aside and impart wisdom to just you.  Every time it felt harsh, and abrupt, but also true.  With those chats, he really was trying to get me to help myself be a better person, have a happier life and also showing me how much he really loved me.  I remember when my grandfather died, my sister said how lucky we to hurt this much because we wouldn’t hurt so deeply, if we hadn’t loved so strongly.  I think often how true those words really are. 

And here are some funnier moments because I’m starting to tear up…

Uncle Ray: The thing about driving you crazy Zach, is it's a short trip.

Uncle Ray: I once tried to fix a Carburetor.  We tried everything.  Finally, we looked at the booklet it came with and on the front it said, “When all else fails read these instructions."
Dawne: I guess they know their audience.

Dawne: What happened? 
Uncle Ray: Some moron dropped the pump on my foot.
Jordan: First thing you do is fire that guy. 
Did I mention that Uncle Ray dropped the pump?

Uncle Ray had some surgery to improve his sight that left stitches where his eyebrows had been.  He forgot about this when he went to Costco.  He saw a small child crying on and giving his father a hard time.  Uncle Ray's response was to say to the father, "I'll give you 50 cents for him."  The small child was immediately terrified, stopped crying and ran to his father as his mother tried to contain her laughter in the next aisle over. 

Okay, we started out the week having dinner at Red Robin.  Lucas was ruminating about how he wanted to go skateboarding with his cousin Ashley, and then dreaming about all the awesome skateboarding he'll be doing in California. 

Uncle Ray: You won't have time for that when you're spending all of your time getting straight A's.
Lucas: That's what I was thinking. 
Me: Is that what you were thinking?
Lucas: No, but I'm saying that that is what I'm thinking so we don't have to talk about it.

Uncle Ray came over for dinner while Aunt Pat was on a road trip to Olympia.  I figured I had to cook chicken for the pups anyway, I could go the extra mile and make us some dinner too.  Although, he interpreted that as me feeding him dog food, but it was really delicious and healthy dog food.  I can’t help it if they eat better than we do. 

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