Friday, August 14, 2009

And the greatest of these is Love

Last night right after I arrived my parents to pick up CJ, a truck pulled in the driveway behind me. It was Uncle K- my dad's brother. Now I haven't seen Uncle K in two years and 5 months. I know this because the last time was at Grandma's funeral, less than a month before CJ was born. My dad was executor of my grandparent's estate (they passed away less than two months apart) and jealousy over money reared its ugly head in a vicious way with my uncles. I'm positive it was spearheaded by the oldest brother "J" and uncle K was sucked in or whatever. They accused my dad of hiding money from them and not splitting it fairly. Now my grandfather's will give all the control to my dad as to what to do. He didn't have to give them a cent. And without a shadow of a doubt I can say my dad didn't do what they accused him of. He isn't perfect by any stretch but he is honest.  My dad is the youngest, by quite a bit. He's a late in life baby. Grandma thought she was going through menopause and turned up pregnant. As most people realize your last child is different from your first. Through time and experience you raise them differently, even if you don't mean to. My dad was the ultimate "baby" of the family. He was spoiled rotten.  It seems that 50 years later his oldest brother still couldn't let that go. Being the first son of my grandfather probably wasn't easy. My grandfather was the oldest of nine kids; he grew up on a farm in rural TN during the depression. His parents died when he was a newlywed and five siblings came to live with him & his new wife.  Then he was drafted into the army and sent to war. Life was hard. I can imagine he was a tough cookie. I also imagine he may have fathered in a way that I would disagree with.  Dad used to tell me the grandfather I knew wasn't the same man who raised them. He was the product of his time/experiences. We all are.

Sadly, "J" has allowed his childhood to taint his entire existence. He's always been a bitter/angry man. The day my grandfather passed away he asked my mom what she was going to do with her inheritance. Naturally, she was appalled. The thought hadn't crossed her mind-the man wasn't cold yet. He said he was looking forward to building his custom house in the country.  I couldn't believe the callousness at the death of his father. He was drunk during the wake.  My father told him not to show up at the funeral if he was drunk. He managed to arrive sober. In the two years since he had to have half his stomach removed because of bleeding. And his liver is shot. This is what holding on to bitterness, anger, resentment gets you- Old, miserable and alone in your custom built house.  The only person he's damaging is himself. Doesn't seem like a way to live- in my humble opinion.

When Uncle K arrived at the back door last night my mom answered. Dad was lounging w/ CJ watching television. Uncle K asked my mom if he was welcome here. And she responded, "Of course you are. Get in here."  I hugged him and we spoke of my kids briefly. He'd never seen CJ & I introduced them. I told CJ that it was his Uncle K. I had to leave to go pick up WC. We said our goodbyes. This morning I asked Mom what he wanted.  He wanted to make amends and see everyone. He's on the list for a heart transplant.  He's been morbidly obese (medically) for a number of years. Years ago he had a heart attack, which caused him to quit smoking. And for a while seemed to watch diet and take care of him. He appears to have backslidden a bit over the past few years. It happens to the best of us, I suppose.

Mom lamented she wished they'd ("J" & Uncle K) would find Christ. I'm thinking that Uncle K coming back over and them welcoming him in and showing him love and forgiveness for the past is huge testimony. She doesn't realize that her actions spoke volumes. I hoping the open dialog can continue and they forge a new relationship and continue to show him the love of Christ through their actions. Maybe even "J" will come back around. Doubtful. We can still pray for him anyway.

1 comment:

Michele said...

We can always pray. And such kudos to your mom for not even thinking twice and just welcoming him with love. So many things can be fixed with a love like that. "A love that surpasses all understanding."