The Glory of the Morning

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I told Jenny, today, that one day, I am going to think about flowers and things like pretty curtains . . like I used to.  It is not this day.  It has not been that day in a while.  Thankfully, the autumn keeps providing little interludes of sorts, to prod me along.  When I see a maple ablaze with amber leaves or golden light filling up a field, I take it personally and know that I am loved.

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My uncle Randy, died this week.  He was my dads’ oldest brother.  He was eighty five years old, which when you read that, it makes you think he lived to a  ripe old age and we should all be counting the blessing of that.   . .and we do, but we are all heartbroken anyway. After all, there is one less person in this world that loved us, especially. . . there is one less elder in the family, that lived the stories of our history and one less father, grandfather, uncle and brother, in our clan. 

He was a kind and gentle man, humble and soft spoken.  He had buried a wife and two sons, killed in separate tragic accidents as very young adults.  He grew up on the back roads of North Carolina, where life was hard.  He joined the army as a young man.  Somewhere he learned to play the guitar and played in a band.  Like all the men on the “Warren” side of the family, he was an excellent mechanic.  (That gene shows up in the family-even both of my sisters- and the grandchildren!  (But not me, at all!)  

Uncle Randy spent the last years of his life, in a nice townhouse, with his daughter, Sheila, for a next door neighbor.  Sheila cared for him, lovingly and faithfully, and deserves a crown.  What an example she has set of devotion and  I admire her with all of my heart.

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We gathered today for the funeral.  I had a visit with one of my dearest cousins, Wendy. Wendy is a constant source of inspiration for me.  Her heart is as pure as the “driven snow”.   We shared a meal on Uncle Randys’ porch and remembered our own grandmother, and agreed that Uncle Randy had “her tender heart” and we missed our grandmother, all over again.  If you are under the impression that I hail from good folks, then you are right.  I have been given the golden opportunity to know goodness, nobility and integrity.  . .through my elders . . .and Uncle Randy was one of them.   

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We had planned, weeks ago, to have a “Thanksgiving meal” on this Sunday, at Mama and Daddys’ house. I woke early to start making my dishes.  I am sure that Mama got up early too, as she is cooking the turkey.  Connie was making a chocolate cheesecake last night, which I am looking forward to.  She asked me if she should and without hesitation, I said “yes!”.   My brother in law, Roy has converted his famous chocolate cake to cupcakes for Lyla, as she just loves cupcakes.  I am bringing a large pot of collards and I am making the biscuits for the stuffing.  My grandmama gave me the recipe, when I was a young cook, and now no bagged crumbs or boxed ones, will do in our family.

The morning broke quietly as I was washing the green collards.  The light came in soft increments, til at last it was day.  There was just the right amount of chill in the air, to make me look forward to turning the oven on.  The scant frost on the fallen leaves, glistened in the sunshine. I walked outside and the peace of the morning settled on me like a holy shield around me and the cares of this season in my life, dimmed greatly.  Nothing disappeared, such as impending dates, loss and the hidden details of my future, but these things  now paled, in the glory of the morning.     

 I couldn’t help but think of Sheila, as today will be especially quiet for her.  I am glad that she has her children and grandchildren that gather around her,  dependably, for they will be of great comfort.

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The early “Thanksgiving” dinner was a success.  We were all served by one, after Lylas’ blessing-save Delores who offered to hold Brynn.  After we ate, we drew names for Christmas.  This was a first for us and  we shouted out the names as soon as they were drawn, as if it were a lottery.  Next, we planned a day to gather at Mama and Daddys’ to put the tree up and hang the wreaths.  Mama always has an especially pretty home at Christmas, and I think her neighbors have come to depend on it. Her picket fences are adorned with garland and red bows.  There is a Christmas flag and lights.  It is a charming sight and I suspect people driving past, are likely to slow down.

Everyone left, the gathering, with hopes to get home, before dark.  Deer are a plenty on country roads, and pose quite a hazard for drivers.  They not only dart in your path, but are liable to dash into the side of your car, at great speed.  If one runs across the road, seasoned country dwellers, know to stop altogether, for you can bet your last dollar, more are coming, behind it.  They are beautiful creatures, and lovely to encounter . . if they are safely grazing in a field or drinking from a creek, at twilight.

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I was in comfortable clothes and under a warm, soft blanket, by the time the first star was out. If at all possible, I try to keep Sunday nights quiet. I sort out what I can about the details of the upcoming week and hope for the best.  I look at the forecast and  I take an inventory of the groceries.  . .for these things have become rituals over the years  . .after all, tomorrow is Monday . . .and that changes everything.

 

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Uncle Randy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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38 thoughts on “The Glory of the Morning

  1. I’m so sorry you lost your Uncle Randy, Michelle. I hope you find comfort in the love of your remaining family, your memories of him, and in your family legacy of men and women of good character. I would have guessed that about you even if you had never mentioned it. Happy Thanksgiving Michelle and God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Lord gives and the Lord takes. That is life and we can’t change anything written in the Heavens. Our hearts swell and cry out for mercy and we find it. Your family will need special loving in the days ahead. These things are especiall hard at holliday times. My youngest left just before Christmas 22 years ago and to be honest Christmas took on a whole different meaning then and still holds.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family..Love you dear Michele.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I am sorry to learn of your loss. Your uncle was the same age as my parents. It’s also hard to watch our elders age, but with that, and all other situations in life, thankfully we can fix our eyes on Him and forge ahead with joy as we trust the outcomes to God who is ever faithful and trustworthy. Looking expectantly for the good He will bring out of every situation.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. you are so right, I am going through that right now with my parents. My dad is 83 ans mama is close to 80. Scares me to think of losing them-well loss is hard-I KNOW there is something more beautiful than we can imagine, prepared, but loss is just sad. Thank you dear-love Michele

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  4. You have given us such a beautiful and warming story from your family, it’s celebrations and of your uncle Randy. I agree with you about age. The older people are the more they hold of our family history and of
    events that happened. Also, I feel we have had even longer time to bond and love.

    So yes, it is hard to lose the ones we love at any age. They are part of us.

    Miriam

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the photo at the end of this post of your Uncle Randy. I’m sorry for his death, Michele. Changes in family dynamics are hard and around the holidays are even more glaring. I loved hearing what was cooking over you and your family’s way, yum. We have two Thanksgiving celebrations coming this weekend. We are doing one for “just us” since we ended up having that day “free” from other obligations, my husband and children are looking forward to it, and then Sunday with my family. I got myself some pie making to do. Just apple and pumpkin, I think, because my sister is bring a cranberry lime cheesecake! I love how you were curled under your cozy blanket to enjoy the first star.

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  6. I’m so sorry, Michele! You’re right, just because someone lives a long life doesn’t mean we miss them less when they die. If anything, we might miss them more because of all the wonderful memories we have and how much they influenced our lives. Your uncle sounds like a wonderful man who left a legacy that his family can be proud of. Hugs to you…..

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  7. I’m sorry to hear of your loss of your Uncle Randy…may he rest in peace. Wishing you a Thanksgiving filled with love and happy memories shared through the years with him. Love Deb xo

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A wonderful tribute to a very special and so deeply loved uncle Randy. So sorry to hear about your loss dear Michele! It’s comforting to know that the family got together to reminisce on all the memories of such an admirable life. A beautiful picture of your uncle in his youth. Strong family bonds and love soothe the pain when we face such a loss. Sending light and love your way and wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving, Amira ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Michele, may your Uncle Randy rest in the Arms of God”s everlasting peace & love. I like to think (as your words demonstrate) that the legacy of our loved ones continues on in us as we treasure memories of their lives & love. Much comfort & peace to you & yours (especially your precious cousin)🙏💕🙏🌷🕊💕

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Love is a miraculous thing that fills a space that did not exist before it came.
    When our loved ones leave us, this space remains, filled with a lifetime of love.
    My condolences on your family’s loss.
    Here’s to Uncle Randy. He has laid his burden down, and now he races among the stars.
    You will see his spirit there on a moonless night.
    Say “Hey” from me, too.

    Seek peace,

    Paz

    Liked by 1 person

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