Today I plan to work on a Laundry room shelf, my dishwasher, and I may re-plumb my kitchen sink. I am able to do all these things, by myself, because my uncle taught me how. My dad had always taught me things, that way I could take care of myself-never having to depend on anyone else to do stuff for me. My dad's time was cut too short, and he was unable to teach me all he wanted. With out being asked, my uncle Arthur stepped up to fill the void that losing your dad at 18 leaves. He taught me how to hang drywall, how to build a porch, a wall, a floor, how to measure/cut/install trim and cabinets, how to put up a door. He taught me the very valuable lesson of drills----corded ones are much more powerful than cordless. That one he stood back and let me learn on my own. He taught me how to hammer with both hands, and how to hold my breath and stomp my feet when I mash my thumbs with those hammers. He taught me how to plumb anything in a house-from a sink to a shower, and how to install gas logs, a gas stove, and check for any leaks. I can fix and install most small appliances thanks to him. But, beyond all of that, he taught me how to laugh at my mistakes. How to take it easy, and not be in a rush. He taught me that hard work pays off, but you have to stick to it and do a good job. He taught me that it's ok to spend a week busting out a fireplace, just to change your mind and fill it back in. He taught me to see the good on others, but to make sure others see the good in you, too. I never saw him judge another based on outward appearances. He was just as at ease in a room full of poor and homeless as he was in a room full of rich and affluent. He taught me that one doesn't need 10 degrees and a string of letters beside their name to be successful. They only need motivation, drive, and determination to be the best them they can be. He showed all what it was to be selfless, always putting others first. He showed honesty. He showed kindness.
Last night, he showed the most important thing in life isn't what you have accumulated, but what you leave behind. He leaves behind a legacy of kindness, goodness, honesty, and selfless actions. He will always be remembered for doing for others, helping others, teaching others. It is in those actions that his spirit lives on. In the houses he repaired, in the jobs he gave to people who needed them, in the lessons he taught others....his body may have died, but his spirit....that will never die.