“Uncle Jim” was the nickname we used for my mom’s friend who was like a father to me. Uncle Jim was family to us. He was the closest thing my daughters had to a grandfather, as my father and father-in-law had already passed on. My girls and I loved visiting him and enjoying his property. We played in the creek, caught fish and frogs and butterflies and bugs. One magical moment with the girls was seeing thousands of fireflies flickering in the valley at night. An amazing sight if you have never seen it before.
I loved riding the ATV clearing the trails with the chainsaw, mowing the grass with the tractor, and helping him with whatever he needed help with. My father taught me how to shoot many years ago, but Uncle Jim taught me how to hunt and how to clean turkey and deer and for that I am eternally grateful.
Some other stories with Uncle Jim that have lessons yet to be written…
The plough – finding hidden treasure
The truck slide – at least you tried
The tierod – plans can change
The ATV slide – don’t stop until you find a solution
Roofing the two roofs – hard work pays off
The insulation – like pins and needles
The cistern overflow – work is easier with friends
Mowing the fields – enjoying the fruits of your labor
The windmill fix – learn how things work
Minnie swimming – don’t be afraid
The clay pigeons – ready, aim, fire!
The possum – always be ready
The bird and squirrel – mistakes happen
The squirrel we ate – try new things
The catfish cakes – try a bite, you might like it
The button buck and momma deer – learning
The 9 pointer – luck
And of course, the one that got away. And the shooting star!
I especially enjoyed relaxing around the campfire with him after a long day. I learned a great lesson from Uncle Jim about taking time to achieve your goals. The title of that lesson three and a half years ago seems so fitting now, “Someday… you’ll be dead!” You see, Uncle Jim and I had a special arrangement. If he died before me, he would give me a sign from Heaven, and I would do the same if I died before him. Today was Jim’s day and he gave me his sign. Don’t forget, I have the same arrangement with you.
I will always love him like a father and he will always love me like a son, and that Love never ends!