I COULD HAVE DONE MORE
The world lost a great and good man the other day. I know he was to me. I believe many others can say the same thing. For now, I must tell what I know. What I feel. And, what I remember.
My first memories of this special man include electric train sets and Shirley Temples. I remember being given the trust to operate an elaborate train world that swallowed a whole room. That, in conjunction with feeling grown up, as I sipped my bubbly drink through a cocktail straw and savored the maraschino cherry.
Years later memories fill. I know of stories in between, but life has a way of absorbing some experiences. I cannot say for certain what tales these his visits might include. So, we will move forward. Others can fill the blanks.
Here was a man who wanted to give his guests an adventure of newfound experiences. Stories that swell from the majesty of the Rocky Mountains in Este Park. From sliding on gunny sacks down a slide that seemed larger than life, to rides on a tramway, and visits to various tourist traps, all for free. Free for us, because this man “took care of things”, Including a trip to Red Rocks to hear Doc Severson. Oh, the grandeur of it all.
Bouncing ahead, years skipped by, I find myself riding Amtrak out to Denver. There to be greeted by this great man and his welcoming family. He took me in, dressed my wounded soul, prayed over my crippled hero of a basketball coach, and did what he could to protect my pain.
I was introduced to the largest camera store I had ever seen. At least, in those years past. This place, where I purchased my very first 35mm Pentax ME Super. Which the cost of, extended past my allowable cash flow funded by my high school graduation. This good man who has now left, took care of the problem with a pat on my shoulder, an extension of his wallet, and the words, “I wish I could do more.”
On that same trip, I was extended the privilege, on my own, my first and last driving experience of a light blue VW Bug. Did the girls of the city think I was hot? I didn’t care. For this was the personal car of a man who taught me so many things in such a little time. An extension of love that I felt, and never could repay.
For you see, this great and good man was my Uncle. Many miles seemed to separate our relationship. Time distanced our gatherings. To me, he always expressed that he felt he could have done more as an uncle. Not so.
As tears flow from my eyes of suffering loss, please know my great and good uncle, that you always did more than better. You imbedded the respect, wisdom, and love that only a most very special man could. You did more than my mourning heart will ever be able to repay.
And as you Uncle Corky, walk up to the last step of your journey, I know you look God straight in the eye and say, “I could have done more”. And God himself, as all the rest of us who carry his memory will say, “You did more my good man.” “Now, come join my chorus and sing, with that angel’s voice you shared to so many, on earth”.
Thank you my mentor. I will try to carry on. I will strive to live as one, who could have done more.