Uncle Jim

jim-in-chairSome men leave this life with much fanfare, while others quietly make their exit.  Jim Wages would be the latter, an unpretentious man, who lived his life in the most genuine of ways.  Jim never desired the spotlight, he lived simply, put his hands to hard work, and his heart to family. He was a man who believed actions spoke louder than words…unless there was a Georgia game on, and then his words could be heard ringing out for all to hear! Rather than do a lot of talking, he preferred to be on the move, never sitting still for very long.  His desire to be outside would lead one to believe he was created to live in a tent, and if he could have he would have.  The love for the outdoors, fishing, and camping lit up his face like the sun.  Anyone would tell you that near the end, his fancy outdoor scooter, with what looked like tank treads, extended his life, just by allowing him the ability to get outside again. Even at family gatherings, he was known to visit for the obligatory amount of time and then he was gone.  Sitting around just wasn’t in his nature.

The faith in God that rescued him, was on display for others to see.  He was generous with his love, poured out not only to family, but to the many kids he taught in Sunday school for years. It was an actionable love, that moved not as much with words, but more with doing.  His prayers were more like sermons, and were heartfelt in their desire to make Christ known to all within earshot. He made up for his quiet ways in the prayerful moments, which were the times his words flowed freely. To talk with him about his faith caused him to choke up with gratitude to God, but he would much rather show you than tell you.  He never demanded you notice his actions.  He simply and humbly walked them out without fanfare. Though he wouldn’t want you to know it, there was a tender heart beating within his chest.  He may have seemed tough on the outside, but we all knew differently.

He had a love for kids of all ages.  Whether it was his own two boys traipsing through the woods, his many nieces and nephews and eventually grandchildren going for sleep overs, or his Sunday school kids grabbing for pixie sticks, he had a way with children.  He knew the importance of role models, though he would have never considered himself one.  There was something about showing kids they were valuable that meant the world to him.  He invested his time and it made a difference.

family-thanksgivingThough he was a man of few words, do not think he had none.  His opinions were often voiced…loudly.  And his thoughts were not at all hidden.  He had strong convictions, as well as a wicked sense of humor.  His jovial side came out at family dinners, where there was always a competition between he and his brothers Danny and Tommy, for who could make the most trips through the food line.  He laughed often and the twinkle in his eye was always a signal that he was up to something.  While he and Louise were probably tied in the contest for most spunk, he edged her out in stubbornness. Hard headed does not begin to describe Jim when he sunk his heels in on an issue.  There was no swaying him and it was best not to try.  It is one of the things that made him a successful business owner…not bending on quality.  When wiring houses, drawing a hard line is an important quality to have.

jim-and-brendaNo one knew Jim better than his bride Brenda.  The two of them went together like honey and butter.  She was the sweet to his salty.  She the calm to his storm.  The words he doled out sparingly, she poured out freely.  His strong opinions were softened by her gentleness.  As a couple, they were balanced.  The ups and downs of life did not pass them by, but they always managed to get through because they were together. It was a beautiful thing to watch.

Jim’s heart expanded, and with the marriages of his sons he gained the daughters he never had.  The family grew with the addition of two grandchildren, whom he adored.  His care for his family never waned.  Even as his heart was weakening, he continued to desire the best for the rest of us. His presence will be missed and cause a hole around the family table, but just think of the joy in heaven as he and Louise are reunited.  Heaven will never be the same with those two together again!

 

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4 thoughts on “Uncle Jim

  1. This was such an on-target tribute to our beloved Uncle Jim! Michelle, thank you for using your gift of words to capture and commemorate the people and experiences we love for all eternity (or as long as the internet survives – a long long time). 🙂 This was so beautiful. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. ❤

  2. Ahh Michelle,
    You did it again. You took your rich family traditions and love and made a beautiful tribute to you Uncle. If we don’t have an Uncle Jim in our family, we know someone just like him. But you made him someone we wished we had known. You have been blessed with a loving family and you share them with us that don’t. We know families aren’t always compatible. Yet in the end, loving families as yours come together in love and acceptance of each other. Thank you for sharing another beautiful story.. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed,
    through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

    • Aww, thank you Chuck. He was a great man, and will be missed. I’m happy to share a small picture of him. I can’t do justice to a lifetime in just a few words, but I did try to capture his spirit.

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