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lots of luck

2009 Ups and Downs, PLENTY of Downs

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Lost three family members, all were my father's family too. Dad lost his mother May 21, lost his closest sibling, a brother, Oct. 3 and lost his step father Dec. 24.

I managed to get layed off Jan. 11 and my sister-in-law went through a divorce, which we all know even extended family is greatly affected. On the upside I did regain work again Dec. 2. Being layed off was a blessing, spent considerable time with my grandmother and my uncle back home. We never make the 570 mile trip at Easter, but we did last year. Time off also allowed for me to spend time at home for her last few days in a coma state and to be a pallbearer the same week in May.

On the upside, my second child was born, a son on March 9th. I already have a little girl that will be 4 on Valentine's Day this year. One of each is perfect for us they are a blessing.

So much loss, yet so much gained, appreciation for life and the things we have. The small things we used to take for granted.

The closest of the three family members we lost, I believe was my Uncle Jon, he was only 57. Never had children of his own, raised another ladies boys for her, they never appreciated him and have been out of the picture for a long time. Their loss. In a lot of ways I would like to think I was the son he never had. His generosity and love towards me makes me think so. He battled cancer, specifically mouth and throat that I know of, life long smoker and chewer. He also liked his beer, but was seemingly never a drunk, just really liked beer. smile Alcohol can't good be good for the body either, I'm sure it took its toll also. It was tough watching him waste away, but he was generous and giving till the end. Which brings me to why I needed to post this.

When I was home at Easter, my dad and I were helping my uncle purchase a motorcycle from an old childhood neighbor kid of theirs. I know my uncle talked about a bike years ago, but he never acted upon the notion, money was not an issue, just never got around to it. Well, I think it was on his bucket list and he knew time was running out so he looked at at the bike and gave dad and I orders to negotiate a fair price and to take care of the transaction for him. No problem. Bought the bike for less then the previous agreed upon price and brought it home without my uncles knowing. I take great enjoyment in washing and detailing vehicles and toys, so I took it upon myself to spend the day detailing my uncle's bike, going all out, three part wax system, the whole works. We then called my uncle to stop by the next day if he was feeling up to it and he agreed. Let me tell you I have never had as much enjoyment as walking him out to the garage door and hitting the opener button. His face lit up and for a brief moment you could tell he forgot about his pain. We proceeded to go later in the day to pick out saddle bags and riding gear for him and upon arrival to home we put it all together for him while he went on his way to rest. The next day, Easter morning my dad and I delivered the bike to his house where he proceeded to ride it around the block, first time in decades on a bike for him. What a great feeling, I managed to snap one really good pic of him on it. Well long story short I don't think Uncle Jon road it more than 25 miles around his neighborhood before he became too weak to even ride it.

Well after Jon passed at his home and things settled down my dad informed me that I needed to pick up my motorcycle this coming spring. Excuse me, I replied. Dad went on to inform me that from the very beginning Jon's intentions were for me to have the bike after his passing. Once again another act of generosity that he lived his entire life by. Dad has a motorcycle (Honda Valkyrie Interstate) and I think it was Jon's way of saying I want you guys to enjoy them together while I'm no longer on this earth. The three of us did a lot together while I was growing up.

I wrote this little tribute for him in my home town newspaper:

Words cannot begin to explain what you meant to our family, but I'll try my very best. You were the big brother for dad, the sibling mom never had and the uncle I idolized. Thank you for being a mentor and teacher of the many small things in life we all take for granted. You taught me generosity, caring and about helping others, especially your family. Thank you for sharing your love of home remodeling, music, nature, cooking, and humor. We always laughed, there was always humor thanks to you. I cherish our Red Green and Three Stooges marathons. smile It is comforting knowing you are free of pain and your spirit is at rest. It is also comforting knowing you're with Debbie once again, this time for all of eternity. You two were made for each other, a true love story. I look forward to the moments when I can tell Madison and Brennen about all of the things that made you so special. I am honored to have known you...forever my Uncle Jon. Love you buddy! Jason, Misty, Madison and Brennen Roberts

I look forward to riding the motorcycle he left for me and I look forward knowing in spirit we will be putting many miles on it together. I even think a trip to Sturgis for Dad and I is in order this summer.

In memory of Uncle Jon, Grandma and Grandpa Jones (2009)

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Dave, it was therapy writing it down. I have found myself struggling with the loss of my grandma and uncle, but my uncle was a very special man. Glad you enjoyed reading my story. Thanks for taking the time to read it.

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Isn't that funny how that therapy works. Well, I've been layed off for one year now and I gotta say, for the most part, it's been a blessing for me as well. It gave me time to do things, to help others and to stop and SEE the things I have in life that I normally wouldn't have had time, or taken the time, to stop and do or think about. Life works according to His plan, I believe.

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Jason, I just saw this today for the first time. I know last year was a rough one. I wish you and your entire family the best and hope that your pain will heal as time goes by. A trip to South Dakota with your dad should be a top priority. Take care, Chris

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Lots of luck, nice story. I am sure your Uncle is very proud of you the way you showed care and respect for him. It just goes to show what goes around comes around, nice story and I hope you great days ahead with your Dad.

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Good story and thanks for sharing lots of luck smile Like Paul sang while he was in the Beatles "Its Getting Better All The Time".

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