My Uncle Bud passed away last week. He was my Dad’s brother. We gathered for the graveside service on Saturday morning as the bitter Oklahoma wind whipped through the flimsy tent. The mood seemed gloomy and somber as the Minister paid tribute to a life well lived and offered quiet assurances from scripture of Bud’s entry to Paradise.
I do not possess enough biblical wisdom to impart any eschatological lessons. But there are a number of secular lessons to be learned from Bud (and my own Dad).
- Be unfailingly honest. Bud was known for his scrupulous integrity. If that is the number one thing that you are remembered for, that, all by itself, is a hell of a legacy.
- Be a person upon whom others can depend. Bud was like a Sentinel. Always on duty, keeping a watchful eye. His obituary stated that he liked to fix things. Just recently I commented to my Mom that my own Dad is happiest when he is fixing things. Bud and my Dad come from a long line of fixers. If something was in the ditch and you needed someone to drive it out, you could always call Bud.
- Be committed. Bud was married to my Aunt Francie for over 60 years. He attended the same church for 60 years. He owned and operated his own company for well over 40 years. If there is such a thing as attention surplus disorder, Bud suffered from it.
- Have a sense of humor. I used to love to hear Bud laugh, especially when he was sharing a tall tale with my Dad. His face would scrunch together and his eyes would water and his voice would pitch about 3 octaves higher than normal as he tried to squeeze out the punch line to a story he had told countless times. It was gold.
In a society rampant with cutters and runners, instant gratifiers and charlatans, I count myself lucky to share even a snippet of the same DNA of a man like Bud. May he Rest in Peace.