One Small Part

I’m sitting surrounded by people but someone is missing.  I can pretend he is in another room.  Maybe he’s in the basement.  Or he’s just not home right now.  But where else would he be?  Uncle Gordon wouldn’t miss this time with his family.  But he is.  And we miss him.

All weekend I have been listening to tributes and memories of Uncle Gordon, or Uncle for short.  And I have realized a few things.  First of all, my knowledge of him was a small part of who he was.  I was in a bubble, a happy bubble.  But this seems to be part of who he was.  Uncle was a man of few words and I knew everything that I needed to know.  As I listen to the stories I don’t feel like I missed out by not knowing them, rather I’m intrigued.  I have always been in awe of him and liked to believe that he could do no wrong.  That hasn’t changed; I like him on his pedestal.  Uncle was quiet and didn’t announce his accomplishments, or much of anything else.  I only found out his age and birth date as well as Auntie Doris’s last year.  This summer he finally started to tell me stories about himself.  I never felt that he was keeping anything from me; it just wasn’t part of the conversation.  I would have loved to write more blogs about him before he passed but I felt like it would embarrass him and he would have thought it was unnecessary.  He didn’t think he had done anything special he just did what he felt was right.

Something else that I realized is how incredibly fortunate I am to have not only one Dad, but 2 Dad’s with an incredible legacy of God, generosity, integrity and work ethic.  What were the chances?  This is evidence of God’s incredible timing and planning.  When my Father was taken from us it could have been the end of that path for me.  But God knew that I was still going to need a Dad and the perfect one was just down the road so He put him in place for me.  Uncle Gordon wasn’t necessarily there to fill the need of discipline or deep conversations; he was there for me to fill the role as a daddy’s girl.  I have absolutely no doubt that had my Father lived I would have been a “daddy’s girl”.  And that is the role that Uncle Gordon filled for me.  And maybe God knew that Uncle needed a little girl hanging around for some other reason that none of us will ever know.  We all have different needs and paths.  Apparently one of my needs as a kid was to have many stand-in parents.  Sometimes I’m not so sure of how to take that.  But God knew that was what I would need to make it through.  And I am so thankful that He had a plan because the rest of us were just getting by.

One realization that I didn’t have was I thought that when I got to Moosomin I would have the sudden realization of Uncle Gordon being gone.  But I didn’t.  I went to the viewing and looked into his face but I didn’t see him; I just saw the shell.  I knew more than I have ever known at all the funerals I have been to that he was no longer there but it was more comfort that I felt than sadness, I was happy for him.  I thought for sure when we went to the house I would feel a massive void.  But I didn’t.  I did notice that he was missing but it was not the overwhelming feeling of sadness that I had expected.  It may have been that there were enough people around to not feel his absence the way I had expected.  All through the weekend it was just as if he was in the other room.  A few times I thought I saw him out of the corner of my eye but then I would quickly realize that it was his son.  I never realized how much they look alike.  I wonder if the next visit will be different.

Moosomin will always be home to me.  My parents and extended family built the foundation but Uncle Gordon and Auntie Doris made it a home.

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