My dad spent 30 years in the Air Force. As you can imagine that meant a lot of time away from home while me and my brothers were growing up. Other than my dad there have been two influential father figures in my life. The first was a man named Terry Kreft who taught me about hard work and the meaning of an honest days work for an honest days pay. He also taught me how to change a tire, grease joints on a diesel truck, not to smoke near the part cleaner filled with flammable solvent and how to reclaim freon from refrigerators. Terry was as blue collar as it got. Worked seven days a week, always had grease under his nails. Worked so much that he ignored the signs. Terry passed away a few years ago from brain cancer.
The other man was my Uncle Charlie. Uncle Charlie had two girls of his own but no boys. So when it came to baseball games, fishing and hunting, I always got to tag along. I never knew what Uncle Charlie did for the government. He’d often show up at the house in some unmarked black truck and always let me play with the lights and sirens or let me practice handcuffing him. One time the key fell in the grass and we couldn’t find it. Ten minutes and hacksaw later he was a free man again. Uncle Charlie taught me to take pride in my work but not to take things too serious or life will pass you by. Whatever I ended up being when I grew up to make sure I always strived to be the best at it and expect nothing but the best from others. The biggest lesson he taught me though, was to never forget how to laugh.
I received some sad news this evening. My Uncle Charlie passed away. Uncle Charlie had a stroke a decade ago and has never been the same since. Uncle Charlie wasn’t related just a close family friend who also happened to be from the same island as my mom (Chi Chi Jima). After his stroke, I didn’t see him more than a few times after that. My dad always said it was because my Uncle Charlie wanted us to remember him as the man he was. When I was younger these men were men who were bigger than life in my eyes. They were invincible! Now as I’m older, you see life and age take them. But to me, with the lessons they have taught me, they will always be forever invincible.
13 thoughts on “Invincible?”
Good stuff here, thanks for sharing…
Thanks for sharing those wonderful memories. You and your family have my deepest condolences for your loss!
i am very sorry to hear about your uncle jerry i hope a really you sit in your back yard with a real fine cigar and just let your mind wonder of all the wonderful memories you and your family had of your uncle charlie.
i am very sorry to hear about your uncle jerry i hope you sit in your back yard with a real fine cigar and just let your mind wonder of all the wonderful memories you and your family had of your uncle charlie.
Jerry – Having gotten so old that I’m now one of those people looked back upon, too, I can only hope that I leave a memory or two as warm as you have for your Uncle Charlie. There’s a great old line from Cicero: “The memory of a well-spent life is eternal.”
sorry to hear the passing of your uncle. wonderful memories!! keep them alive bro!
sorry for your loss brother!
I’m sorry to hear two of your influential men figures passed away. You have good time memories together. Keep them closed to your heart.
Condolences on the loss of a friend and mentor. Kudos to him for having taught you well.
Amen Jerry. Peace be with you. Sorry for your loss.
Their blessings shine upon you and your family everyday. Condolences JCruz
Sorry for your Loss buddy, we should always take the lessons we learn from the ones we love.