The phone rang Monday night shortly after we went to bed. My mother-in-law was calling to let us know that Andrea’s grandfather had passed away. He was 93. Then the next morning (Tuesday) my mom called to say that my great-uncle, my grandmother’s brother, had passed away last night also. Both were in poor health.
I wanted to take a minute to tell you about these men.
I first met Andrea’s grandfather, Lee Davis, fifteen years ago. For the last eleven years, he’s been pestering me to build him an airplane. He always liked the idea of being able to fly over his farm. I did take a toy tractor once and put helicopter rotors on it. He showed that off for a long time.
Lee’s health had been pretty bad for the last few years. His short-term memory was all but gone, but he could tell you in great detail about everything he did when he was young. Andrea and the kids recently spent several days at the farm caring for Grandma and Grandpa. She claims that he told her about courting Myrtle at least five times a day during the visit.
It made me think of Bryson’s sermon Sunday. He talked about loving your spouse to the end. I think Lee’s stories about courtship were his way of saying “I’ll love you to the end.” They were married 71 years!
My Uncle Joe (technically great-uncle) was also in very poor health. I hadn’t really seen him much in recent years. Most of my memories are from my childhood. My grandparents would frequently meet him for lunch after church, and I would sometimes join them. Uncle Joe would always quiz me on the Bible. He spent a lot of time studying the Bible.
Uncle Joe was also a painter. A painting of his was displayed in one of the Oklahoma City hospitals. My mom always made a big deal of taking us to see the painting whenever we were visiting someone in the hospital. He painted a beautiful picture as a wedding present for me and Andrea. I’ll try to post a photo in the next few days.
I liked how he always called referred to my mom as “my favorite niece”.
When I was baptized in the 2nd grade, he came to my baptism and brought me a present – Halley’s Bible Handbook. It was way over my head at the time, but has come in handy since then. In the front he wrote:
“To Ronnie on the occasion of his baptism 18 April 1982 – my great nephew, who is also my little brother in our Lord Christ Jesus. Your great uncle, Joe Mowdy.”
You’ll both be missed.
[After Kerri’s comment below about knowing Uncle Joe, we exchanged a few emails. She sent me the link to two things that her brother Ben had written recently about him: “I hate the smell of hospitals…” and “The cloud got a little bigger today…” Both are well worth reading. Thanks Kerri!]