Thursday, February 5, 2009

REPRINT from June 8, 2008 "MY UNCLE RONNIE

Ring, Ring.....Michael answers the phone, "Donya, it's for you."
"Hello?" (It's my brother, Marcus)
"Hey, I have bad news...Uncle Ronnie's been killed."

I am aware that most of you will become bored with my story and quit reading...but for me, this is whether or not anyone reads it, I'll feel better for doing it.

Also, let me take a moment to say to all the family, but especially his immediate family (Peggy, Ronald, Chris, Denise, Doug, Doyle, Alesia, Derek, Jane & the girls) I am praying for each of you and hope that through this tragedy Christ would be glorified. God's timing is not our own. And we know that God was not sitting up in Heaven going, "Oh, No, What happened?!" God knows His sheep and He knew exactly where Uncle Ronnie was and what would take place. Be thankful that he knew the Lord as his Savior and that you can rest in knowing that Heaven has already become is permanent home!

After I hung up the phone with Marcus, a terrible grief and agony filled my heart. It was a feeling that I haven't had in long time & it took me quite by surprise. You see, I am not very open with my emotions. Don't know why...I'm not hard hearted, quite the opposite, I just try to keep my emotions in check.
I don't remember ever crying at the passing of my granddaddy, granny Godwin, or Granny Holley...but at this loss, I wept bitterly. I couldn't stop, it was a release of emotion that even surprised me. I think some of it was because I'm in Texas & couldn't be there for the services.
You see, My Uncle Ronnie was like a second father to me. When other kids wanted to spend weekends and summers with friends, I wanted to go to Uncle Ronnie and Aunt Peggy's house. Was there some great water park or exciting fun there? No, they were in the Chumuckla, FL where nothing ever happened. Join me if you want into some of my fondest memories, not just of my time with Uncle Ronnie...but these are even some of the fondest memories of my life.

I remember on Friday afternoons, mama would pick me up from school, I'd hop into the truck and see my little worn out green begging has earned me a weekend at Uncle Ronni & Aunt Peggy's house! WOO HOO!!! We'd make the all the way to where the paved road turned to dirt, drive on down and there I could see my cousin, Chris, squatting down with arms wide open. I would ump out before the truck even stopped, run into his arms and give him the biggest hug ever! It felt just as good as home there. Inside, I wold ask the question that I already knew the answer to, "When will Uncle Ronnie get home?" I just couldn't wait for him to get there.

Here are some tings that my mind often drifts back to:
His Hands. They were short and stubby, rough & gentle all at the same time. He was a brick layer by trade...and the best one at that. He worked hard out in the sun and heat all day, no complaints. I even 'helped' when I was allowed to go to work with him. He would pick me up and set me on his lap with those hands, and there we would stay for hours watching old westerns (with the volume way too high)
His Belly Button....I know that's weird, but I was always amazed at how his belly button was off to one side. And in the country the men went around with no shirts on a lot of times. This was the case with Uncle Ronnie. he would often be shirtless and that was the most comfortable spot for a nap as a child, right on his gut!
His Hair...or the lack thereof. But that didn't stop me from trying my hardest to fix it with my hairbrush.
Going Swimming at the Creek...the drive there on the back of the truck...the watermelons we would stick in the creek to get good and cold...Uncle Ronnie teaching me to swim by laying on my belly across his arms in the water.
The Tom Thumb Store...There we would go get him a DP and me a carton of chocolate milk. We would rent movies (& in the early days even the VCR)...get some candy and go back home to eat Aunt Peggy's homemade pizza.
I was the apple of his eye as a child...he spent a small fortune on my little indulgences. he would do nearly anything to keep me happy.
Now this one is more for my Aunt Peggy....having my own special bed sheets...the ones with the roses on them.
Going 4 wheeling in the woods.
Fresh veggies. he always had the best garden. I would help pick butter beans & field peas and then do my best to shell them.
Worms....Fishermen from all around would show up early in the morning to buy a couple hundred.
Going fishing.
Running around bare foot, not brushing my hair all day, eating a big breakfast every morning.
The day Derek, his first grandson, was born; the joy that being called "Paw Paw" brought to him.
The simplicity of their lives.

Although life has now taken me down different roads and I am not a little girl anymore, I have always kept that whole family near my heart. I love each of you, even if we rarely see one another.

So now the question becomes.....
Will I ever see Uncle Ronnie again? Please take that question seriously. You see, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will. He accepted Christ as his Savior, just as I have. Therefore, we both have a home in heaven. Do you? There's only one way you'll ever see him, hug his neck, or tell him you love him ever again. And that's by the blood of Jesus.
Please take time to read these verses if you are not sure if you'll see him again.
Romans 3:10
Romans 3:23
Romans 6:23
Romans 5:8
Romans 10:9-13