Monday, January 23, 2012

Uncle Roy

Well, I guess today I will write about my Uncle Roy.  He passed away today, leaving his beautiful daughters heartbroken.  He was my mother's younger brother, #4 of 6 children.  She loved him unconditionally.  She said when he was little, he slept with her and always wet the bed. 

He grew up to be one of the best men I've known.  He was always self-employed as a framing contractor and at one time was the primary general contractor for Post Properties, a company that developed high end apartment complexes in Atlanta.  At one time or another, I would venture to guess that he has employed most every male on my mother's side of the family.  If you lost your job and needed a job to tide you over until you could find another, Roy would put you to work on the job site.  All the nephews worked for him in the summers.  My daddy was working for him when he had his first heart attack. 

We grew up with his kids, and very often would vacation with them in Florida.  I remember going to Panama City or Daytona Beach with a whole group of aunts and uncles and cousins.  As I got older, I got to be the babysitter while the adults went to the dog track.  That babysitter thing earned me a few trips, allowing me to go play on the beach during the day and then babysit in the evening to earn my trip.  Pretty sweet deal! 

He hung out with us and Uncle Lawrence a lot.  I remember them teasing me because I was chubby.  They lovingly called me "Whalene."  I noticed today when I saw him lying in intensive care how much he actually looked like Uncle Lawrence.  I had never really noticed that before. 

Uncle Roy always had the biggest heart.  He would loan you money and never once ask for it back.  When he and his first wife divorced, he was heartbroken.  I remember my mother comforting him as he cried over that loss.  His second wife died a few years ago, and broke his heart again.  I don't think he ever got over losing her.  He seemed to steadily go downhill after her death.  The last couple of times I saw him he was looking more frail.  I had heard that he was very depressed. 

I know there will be some folks on the other side who will be glad to see him.  His mother and daddy are there waiting for him along with his beloved sister Betty and his good buddy and brother Donal and his lovely wife Jean.  He's now at rest.  Goodbye Uncle Roy.  Rest in peace forever.  I love you.