Monday, April 2, 2012

Saying Goodbye to a Wonderful Man

My husband and I made a fast trip to western North Carolina over the weekend.  His Uncle Rex passed away last week ... and we hurried out of here on Friday morning to get there to visit with family and attend his funeral on Saturday. 

left to right:  Uncle Rex, his wife Wanda, and my husband's father (who passed in 2009)

Our daughter who lives with us was working for two of the days we would be gone (12-hour shifts at the hospital).  She could take care of the cats, but I needed someone on short notice who could watch the dogs.  Our friends Kim and Andy stepped up to watch Daniel, and my mother volunteered to keep Ruby.  It was a huge relief to know that my dogs were so well cared for by people who love them. 

The funeral was truly a celebration of a wonderful man.  Uncle Rex was one of the smartest, kindest, most up-to-date 83-year-olds EVER.  He was this way because he never stopped trying new things and he loved to learn.  He once said, "There is not a person so smart that I cannot teach, nor person so dumb that I cannot learn from."  How profound.

I got very little sleep while we were there.  Both Friday and Saturday nights, we stayed up till almost midnight visiting with relatives that we rarely see.  Like most families, it takes a wedding or a funeral to rouse us from our routines and get us together.

Knowing I was going to be in her neck of the woods, I contacted Linda Loe of Long Ago Roses to see if she was available for a visit.  She and I have emailed occasionally for the past few years, and we have traded roses by mail, but we had never met each other in person until Sunday morning.  My husband and I arrived at her house, and I was instantly enchanted by her garden.  She has 300 roses planted in drifts, separated by winding paths, all throughout her large city lot.  Since it's so early in the season, there were only a few flowers ... but I could see that her garden will soon be filled with color and fragrance when the roses are blooming.

While I was at Linda's, you know that I HAD to buy some roses.  I made notes from her web site before I got to her house, and she suggested a few other roses for me that were not on my list ... for a total of nine new roses for my garden.  

There wasn't enough room in my Jeep for our luggage, two dogs, AND my roses, so I left them behind at my parents' house when we picked up Ruby. I will retrieve them later this week.  Let's see if I can remember which roses I bought, because the rose people who read this are going to want to know ... Annie Laurie, Harlekin, Teasing Georgia, Pretty Jessica, Nathalie's High Hills, Duke of York, Leonie Lamesch, Alchymist, and Rainbow.  (wow, I did it.)

This was Linda's neighbor's cat.  She was incredibly vocal, very affectionate, and hugely pregnant ... the cat, not Linda.

It's really good to be home now.  The Husband and I spent a LOT of time in the car over the past three days.  Ruby and Daniel were very glad to see us (as were the kitties) and it felt wonderful to sleep in my own bed last night.


  1. I'm sorry for you families loss, but it is a blessing to be able to celebrate a life well lived! Glad you got some new roses also. Hugs, Linda

  2. How wonderful that you were able to attend the funeral and not have to worry about a lot of other things. He sounds like he was a wonderful man and his absence will leave a hole in the family.

    Blessings and I hope you get some rest this week-xo Diana

  3. I'm very sorry for your loss.

  4. So sorry to hear of your family's loss... and such pretty pics, especially of the prego cat!..I'd take a kitten if I weren't trying to convince my husband to let me keep the dog I'm fostering. (*sigh*)

  5. I'm sorry to hear about your family's loss. It does sound like Uncle Rex was a very wise man, keeping up to date and trying new things, that's the right attitude to have.
    Lovely that you could meet another blogger. I'm off to look at Linda's blog now :)

  6. I'm so excited for you to meet Linda. Did you see her Wizard statue? I would love to have on myself. When I was there buying roses last October when we saw you, I also bought Rainbow as one of the roses from Linda. Its kinda fun to know we both are growing Rainbow from Long Ago.

    We are sorry for you loss, his motto in life was as you said very profound.

    All the best,

  7. So sorry for your loss. I'm glad you got to see some family you rarely get to see, and you are so right that funerals and weddings have a way of doing that. I can't wait to see your new roses, I'm sure they will be beautiful when they are in bloom!


  8. Condolences to you, Steve and your family. It's great that you'll be able to plant some new roses in remembrance of such a special man.

    What a wonderful garden! Again, wish our place got more sun...

  9. I am so sorry for your loss. Uncle Rex sounds like a guy who did a lot of living and loving! Love his motto!

    I know your "kids" are so happy to have you home and it is always nice to sleep in your own bed :)
    Don't work too hard!
    xo, misha

  10. So sorry to hear about your husband's uncle. He sounds like a wonderful man. How nice that you got to include a stop at Linda's on your travels. What a gorgeous garden. I can only imagine it at full bloom!

  11. Condolences to you, Steve and the family. These roses will have a special meaning, going to go look these up soon...donna :)


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