We are so blessed to live here in the northwoods of Maine and doubly blessed because we have family really close. Our Uncle lives next door and my inlaws live about 1/4 mile down the road. There is nothing better than family.
Uncle Ken who lives next door celebrated his 88th birthday on Monday. He is one of the most intelligent and gentle men that I know. I have only had the privilege of knowing him for the last 30 years or so but my husband has spent his whole life learning from this man. Uncle Ken is by education and career a Structural Engineer but he taught my husband so much more. How to work on and repair vehicles (when you could still do that in the back yard or your own garage), taking and developing photographs (long before digital), construction and building and so many other things. The most important being to love the Lord.
For me he has been a great help in all the building projects around the homestead. Anytime that I get an idea in my head I always run it by him to see if what I have conceptualized it doable and won't fall down the way I plan on doing it. I have also had a fine example of a Christian man to watch every day. For our son he has also been a great influence and he has been collaborating with Uncle Ken on a book of sorts on politics and war. Uncle Ken having been born in 1928 has seen a lot of this world's history first hand and our son it very interested in history.
Just a few days after his 88th birthday Uncle Ken had a stroke. He is recovering very well but the event seems to bring a lot of things into focus. The biggest being how empty all our lives would be without him. Although he is more than ready to go home to glory to be with his Lord and Savior those of us who would be left behind would still hurt. The Lord chose not to take Uncle Ken home at this time so it is our duty, my duty, to continue to glean from this wonderful man. And to realize each and every day how much we are blessed by him. And for him to know this from us.
My wish is that you also have a Uncle Ken, or several, in your life. Let them know how much they mean to you and cherish what you have learned from them. So many of the old ways are being forgotten, preserve what you have learned and pass it on to the next generation.