About Your Uncle…

Last month I spent some time praising our nephews for my Father’s Day post.  They’re all nice young men, and I was happy to give them the pat on the back.

Today their uncle is another year older… so to celebrate his day, I thought I’d give these guys several reasons they’d be wise to use him as a role model.

As a teenager, he was already running his own small construction business.  Every dollar and everything he owns came from hard work, determination and heaping doses of integrity.  He has always gone the extra mile with his work – getting up early in the morning, working into the night, answering the phone when it rings.  He is fair and honest, and always has been.

You would never realize what an incredible athlete he is, because he’s quite humble and keeps his trophies and medals in a closet that only he sees.  (And they’re only on display because I put them there.)  Triathlons, racquetball, spearfishing, basketball, running… he has always come out on top.  I admire his quiet self-discipline.  I wish you could have seen him water ski back in his twenties.  He was phenomenal.

He genuinely knows things about other people because he loves to listen and learn.  You won’t hear him talking very much about himself.  Instead, he’ll be asking questions of others… letting them tell their stories.  If they ask to hear his stories, he’ll tell them.

And speaking of talking… he’ll happily engage in conversations of all kinds.  Where to get a good brisket, the NBA finals, the most beautiful places to go hiking, loan amortizations, quail hunting, travel plans, where to buy granite.  He’s good at making people feel comfortable.

I remember the time we showed up for dinner with some friends, and they’d cooked something that always nauseated him.  Literally.  They were so excited about the meal they’d prepared.  He whispered to me as we entered their dining room, “I will eat this if it kills me.”  He’s a man of patience and good manners.  Spend a month with him.  You will witness this over and over and over again.

He was an incredible trumpet player in his younger years.  He loves grand music, and if you were to borrow his Ipod you’d be impressed with the variety of styles.  Although he’s so busy with his working world that he has to have daily print outs to keep up with all the places he has to be, all the people he has to talk to, all the connections he has to make… on Saturdays before he leads the singing on Sunday mornings, you’ll find him quietly at his computer for hours choosing his songs carefully, searching the internet for perfect photos to place into his power point presentation.  Many Sundays he’s at the church building shortly after sunrise to make sure everything is perfectly ready.  I love it when he leads our worship.

He does not lose his temper.  I can see when he’s boiling.  Others don’t.  He is a master of self-control.

What a man of adventure.  All this traveling we’ve done around the world, these places we’ve lived… they’re his ideas.  While some men may waste their time on the internet looking at things to be ashamed of, he spends his time clicking on travel sites, finding good prices, making reservations to take us to the next exciting destination.

And now, young men… hear this.  He has never looked at other women.  Never.  Not in real life, not in photographs.  He looks at me, and he treats me like a queen.  He loves to make me smile.  In our thirty plus years of marriage there has not been one single time I’ve had a reason to feel insecure about his love for me.

Gary… perhaps the nephews will read this, perhaps they won’t.  I mean every word of my admiration for you.  And yes… I’m sincere in this… those young men would do well to emulate your actions.

Happy Birthday to most incredible man in the whole wide world!


3 Responses to “About Your Uncle…”

  1. Marcea Clive says:

    Happy Birthday, Gary.

  2. Donna McBroom says:

    Nice tribute Sandy!
    He truly is a gem! He’s a wonderful man who I am proud to call my brother. Love you both bunches

  3. Mary Anne says:

    Beautifully said, Sandy. You have yourself a wonderful man and yes, young men should follow his foot steps.

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