Thursday, August 16, 2012


My ninety-year-old Great Uncle passed away last week; ironically, on the same day my Nana passed away six years ago - August Fifth. And in lieu of a funeral, there were only graveside rights for him. Yet, it was the best thing I've ever been to, to celebrate one's life coming to an end.

As we arrived, so did others. You know, usually when you go to the funeral of someone that elderly, there aren't many people there because all of that person's friends have already died. Not the case with this funeral - there were a lot of people.

The majority of the people that came for Uncle Jerry were between seventy and ninety and there were lots of canes and pants pulled up too far and handkerchiefs, but they were all friends of his or people who had been influenced by him.

The pastor talked for just a couple minutes before asking everyone to say one word that reminded them of him. There were sounds of, "enthusiastic, passionate, motivator," and more. And then he asked anyone who wanted to, to say a couple words about Uncle Jerry.

And I was particularly struck by one man's testimony of him.

Jerry Hendricks was a founder of a large land development business here in my town and from what everyone was saying, he was an absolutely brilliant civil engineer. He & the man whose testimony was most touching to me were business partners and ran waterlines through Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana.

The man who spoke this particular testimony was Mr. Dunlap, he and my uncle started this company right out of college. He said there would never be another like Uncle Jerry because God broke that mold when Jerry came out of it - he was too inquisitive - too daring - too everything that makes a person a brilliant entrepreneur.  He said Uncle Jerry would have 100 ideas, 95 would be crazy and five would be workable. (That made me feel a little bit better about myself because I'm the same way) But this is the story that really struck me ....

Mr. Dunlap said he and Uncle Jerry were working on a project and they had to have the plans to the government by a certain date so they could be approved and then executed. So, they worked and they worked and they worked so much that Mr. Dunlap said he had many dinners with Uncle Jerry & Aunt Ruth and their kids after which he and Uncle Jerry would leave and go back to work. One day, they worked 48 hours straight. But, the project got finished and it got finished well and now? We all have water in our homes, thanks to them.

This story among others made me really proud to have Uncle Jerry in my family and sad that I didn't know him better but mostly, it made me re-evaluate me.

You know, I always have so much going on. I have a photography shoot, I'm selling ads for my job at our newspaper at school, I'm babysitting, I'm hanging out with friends .... my head is spinning. But here there were, two young guys with no cell phones, no internet, only one job - albeit a big job - and look: they did so much.

I started thinking about how I always have so much to do, yet it seems like I do so little. And these guys, had so little to do and did so much.

So this is all to say, I'm slowing down on my writing. I'm going to write when it feels good and when I want to but I won't force myself. My love right now is photography and I know if I want to get really good, I'm going to have to pour hours and money into it and although I don't want to put all my eggs in one basket - I also don't want to have so many baskets I run out of eggs to put in each one.

Do you ever feel this way? Like you have so many projects and you're not doing any of them really well? What have you done to overcome that?

No comments: