Saturday, August 13, 2022

A memory of Uncle Jerry

 Over the years the Camphouse siblings would often share hosting opportunities for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The Langleys, Colemans and Camphouses lived within an hour of each other and Christmas dinner was sometimes a big shared meal.  One year when I was in 1st or second grade we hosted.  That meant cleaning and cooking and getting ready.  It also meant my mom (who was notorious for such things) came up with a special activity for everyone wherein we each drew a name of a family member and shared something kind that we appreciated about them.


That activity remains etched in by brain for how embarrassed I was when my mom helped me share with my older cousin.  It also stayed with me for later in that night when Uncle Jerry invited me to the living room where we sat on the big white couch and he told me how special I was to him, how valued and important.  I don’t remember the specific words. But I remember how he made me feel and it’s been a treasure I’ve picked up often over the years.  He gave me a great gift of love and encouragement and he fostered it when we saw each other for other reasons as I grew up.  


I remember him as someone who was always kind. He never raised his voice to me or around me.  He was gentle.  He was a story teller and a slow talker—a combination I was often impatient for as a child and grew to love as an adult.  


My heart broke at having to say goodbye, and yet I am forever grateful that the timing of our trip to California lined up with his time in the hospital so we could and say goodbye. I held his hand. I prayed for him. I anointed him with oil. I kissed his head and shared my love.  I am sad for his absence, and I am grateful for the ways his love and stories fill my heart.  

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