Yesterday I was able to go to a funeral for my Mom's Uncle Roy. This man has had a sweet spot in my heart for many years. Among other things, Roy and Eunice were kind enough to have me in their home as I would travel home during college and hosted our wedding luncheon at their house.
As I watched the rest of the family shuffle in to be seated in the chapel, I couldn't help but look at the many sweet great-grandchildren who are a part of this man's legacy. I felt touched as the rows kept filling with his closest family members and thought of my family members who weren't able to be there.
I knew Uncle Roy to be a smart and kind man. He seemed to take such an interest in everyone he talked to and had something unique to say. I was touched by the tributes given him as a steady man who always knew how to endure. His son called him a "Shiblon" saying that his father was someone who was not flashy but very steadfast and walked uprightly before God. He spoke of his father never being a discriminator of persons and always finding ways to help poeple have what they needed in creative ways. He was a man who didn't think to complain and would start the day saying, "It's a great day in Chicago!" (They lived there 25 years for work). He wore the same old red sweater every year at Christmas. He was engaged to Eunice two years while he was away in the Army Air Corps and in Brazil working. His daughter found his love letters to her from this period of time and said that each started endearingly with "My Dearest Brown Eyes". He was asked if during his years in the Army he was able to hold true to his values. He said that he contemplated for three months the fact that he was the only "Mormon" around and that he could have done whatever he wanted. He asked himself what he really wanted and he decided he wanted the happiness the Gospel brings.
I couldn't help but think of my family. We are all so different but we all know we are loved. As I sat there I felt grateful to a long line of people who valued the Gospel and wanted to share it. A group of people who know how to roll up their sleeves and get to work. I thought of family tradition and struggle. I thought of celebration and new generations we have yet to meet. I felt happy for Roy, his choices and the obvious abundance of love he shared with his family. I left with a renewed resolve to express my love as often and openly as possible.