When I first found out that my Uncle was sick, I was shocked for lack of better words.Â At first, we did not know what was wrong, so I prayed.Â I prayed, like everyone else, that it would be nothing or at least something very treatable. When I heard that he had cancer I was scared and felt uneasy not knowing much about it.
I did not, and still do not understand why he was picked to fight this uneven and long battle. There has been no answer to my questions.
Presented with the fact that my uncle may not be getting better, I was asked if I wanted to see him in the hospital.Â First, I decided that I wanted to see him, but then I changed my mind.Â I wanted only to remember him in my best memories.Â I did not want to see him lying helpless and weak in a strange cold place.Â I did not want my last memory of my favorite Uncle to be of him in a hospital.Â I wanted to remember the best times.
Sara sits on her uncle Jim’s lap – 1997.
This is how I remember my Uncle Jim:
He was always very patient and kind whenever teaching me something.Â He never got disappointed that I messed up the raking pattern and never could seem to get it right.Â Every summer my hat would fly off my head during a cattle drive and he would laugh at me, wait â€˜til I got back up on my horse, and then I would say, â€œIt is bad luck if my hat does not fall off at least once during the summerâ€ He always agreed!
I think that most of all, I will miss the drives out to where we were going to be moving cattle.Â We did not talk much.Â It was quiet and peaceful.Â The only time we spoke during these rides was when he wanted to point out a deer or the burrowing owls.Â Oh yeah, and to make fun of me for freaking out if the was a bug in the cab of the truck!
I will miss seeing him walk over to my grandparentâ€™s house in his silly â€œFlintstonesâ€ t-shirt and shorts.Â It was just too funny, and it seemed to be the same shirt every day summer after summer.Â It was just something you could count on and I like that.Â He would sit on the floor in front of the sofa and give us a hard time for watching â€œmindless televisionâ€â€¦but then he would leave to go back home to watch â€œThe Girls Next Doorâ€!!Â
I loved his voiceâ€¦I thought it was the greatest thing in the worldâ€¦When he would ask me if I was ready to go move cattle in the morning.Â He would pull on my toe and ask â€œReady to go move some cattle in the morning?â€ I would reply with a head nod or a smile and he would reply with the time wanted me to be ready at the barn.
For some reason I was very shy around my uncle.Â I think I was afraid to say something silly in front of him.
I wish he was here to teach me more about horses.Â He was always very good with them.
Finally I want to thank him for a few things.
Thank you for adjusting my saddle when I got it wrong
Thank you for letting me ride Scooter and obsess about him (Scooter is my favorite horse in the world)
Thank you for watching my brother cousins and I put on endless Circus shows when we were little
Thank you for letting me work and live on the ranchâ€¦.my most favorite place in the world
Thank you for everything Uncle Jim, I will never forget you or the things you did for me
I am sad that you will not be able to walk me down the aisle when I get married because you were my first choice.
Goodbye Uncle Jimâ€¦Goodbye â€¦I love you