Williamsburg's Homeless & Indigent

P.O. Box 366, Lightfoot, VA 23090
Office: 757-561-3255
"Assisting people in re-gaining hope and a better way of life."

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Uncle Buck

We all seem to have one in our family: the crude, loud relative that makes you hide when he comes around or not even answer the door when he is on the otherside. But, my Uncle Buck wasn't like that. And yes, his name was Buck, although technically he wasn't my uncle. It's kinda like a friend of the family that your parents don't allow you to call them by their first name, yet they don't want you to call them "Mr." or "Mrs." So Buck had me call him Uncle Buck. Buck was the father of my best friend, Cat. I met Cat, 13 years ago. We both lived in Greenville, SC and at the time of meeting, she was dating an ex-boyfriend of mine. In his odd attempt to make me jealous, he brought Cat over to introduce us (this was during Clinton's inauguration speech.)Little did he know then that we would be best friend's way after their relationship ended. Eventually, I met all of Cat's family and just kinda 'fit in' along with them.

Even though my Daddy was still alive, I saw Tommie-Jean (Cat's mom) and Buck as parental figures. They became my parents locally, since none of my family lived in SC. Actually, I think I talked to them about personal problems more than I did my own parents. They helped to see me through many crisises and shared many joyous events in my life. Moreso Buck than Tommie-Jean. Buck was such a sweet man with such a great sense of humor. Of course he had his moments when he could be stern, but that was the dad in him. Buck was such a hard working man and tried so hard to take care of his family (and trust me that wasn't an easy task with Cat as a daughter!)

I have so many great memories of him! One of my 2 favorites was at my wedding night to my last husband. My whole family came to SC for the small event. But even though they traveled so many miles to come, I was mostly happy with my Daddy and Buck's presence. I guess by this point Buck had become so much like a father that I would have been crushed if he didn't show. After dancing with my Daddy, who struggled since he had to use a cane to walk due to being diabetic, I asked Buck to dance. I was kinda shocked when he accepted, but with our glasses of champagne in hand, we shared a special 'father/daughter' moment.

A few months after Geoff and I moved to Williamsburg, we drove by to SC to visit. Buck heard we were coming to town and wanted to meet for lunch. He was so eager to hear more about the ministry and our efforts to assist the homeless in Williamsburg. Cat at this time was away in the military (in Iraq)and it seemed to give him a connection to her, being so far away. The lunch seemed so short, although we spent over 2 hours together talking, eating, laughing and getting 'fatherly advice.'

Shortly after Geoff and I moved to Chickahominy Haven, Cat called me (around Oct/Nov) to let me know Buck had liver cancer. By this time, it had progressed to far and all they could do was some chemo treatment and keep him comfortable. After his first treatment, I waited a few days for him to get some strength built up and called the house. He sounded so weak, but he made sure to chit-chat for a few moments with me. I just wanted to make sure he knew how much he meant to me, something I didn't really get to share with my Daddy before he passed so unexpectedly.

Tonight, Cat called once again. (Even though we still remain to be best friends, our schedules make our phone calls far and few between.) As soon as I heard her voice and the tears, I knew...Buck died today. I couldn't cry while she was on the phone because I knew how upset she was as she was saying, "I didn't want to talk to anyone, I just kept thinking I needed to talk with you." I re-assured her I would be coming for the funeral, somehow someway (money is very, very tight right now and I don't know how we can afford for me to make the trip, but God will find a way.)

Currently, the only comfort I can find is that he is out of pain and in a better place. I will cherish the time we had together Uncle Buck and remember how you took me into your life as if I was your daughter. Rest in Peace and find comfort in God's kingdom. I love you!


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