Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Loving Uncle J

Almost two years ago, on November 13th, 2008, something happened that would change me and my families lives forever. My Uncle James was a very funny man. He loved God with everything he had, and followed His Will, no matter how rough life got! He always would pick on me and gave me the nickname "Squirrel". He could always put a smile on my face, and everyone else he met. His humor and love for God is what made him a person you could always talk to about anything! He never met a stranger, and when he could he would tell other about Jesus as much as he could.

My Uncle James had ran a grocery store that we call Nortonville Bestway, for my Grandpa Franky, which he could use very easily as a ministry! Since I lived in Crofton, and he and some of my other family lived in Nortonville, I made sure to visit as much as I can. But back in September of 2008, I had joined the church in Nortonville, because I had felt that God laid on my heart to go there so I could see that part of my family more often, and also so I could join my Cousin David's class that he taught. I usually went every Sunday to Sunday School, but I wouldn't always get to make it to the Late Service, which was where I would see my Uncle and my Grandpa Franky at. I ran into my Uncle a few times, but not as often as I wanted to.
What also kept me from being able to see my Uncle, besides sometimes at church, and family gatherings, he had just married only about 8 months ago, and him and his new family kept him very busy, but I still loved him so much, no matter what.

On November 12th, 2008, around 3:00 p.m., I was sitting in my Dad's office at Crofton Bestway, the grocery store my dad ran and owned, and I was watching dad pay a few bills, and then the phone rang, it was my Uncle J! My dad put it on speaker phone so I could hear him too! He and my dad were talking about the usual business talk, and then Uncle J brought up a conversation about where we were going to have Thanksgiving this year, and also how he was ready to see God work at the revival coming up at church. As the conversation ended, I told my Uncle I loved him, not knowing it would be the last I love you.

At 11:00 p.m., I was downstairs in my living room, flipping through the channels, trying to find something decent on television at the time. My dad comes running down the stairs saying that my cousin David called, and he said my Uncle James wasn't breathing, and that we needed to get to the hospital very soon. As we took the fast drive to Madisonville, I remember looking out the window at the moon, and then beginning to cry, praying that this wasn't really happening, and that my Uncle was going to be okay.

As we entered the Emergency Room, I met eyes with very many people with broken hearts, and love for my Uncle, with tears in their eyes, and my heart sunk. My dad asked how it was looking, and the doctor replied saying "Not so good". Nobody, not even his wife Cheryl was allowed to enter the room he was in, this didn't settle easily in my stomach. About 30 minutes later, the nurse who was helping my Uncle's doctor, came into the waiting room and asked for any immediate family to follow her into a little room. Slowly making our way, I was becoming more numb to the situation. After sitting in the tiny room for about 5 minutes, the doctor came in and broke the news, that My Uncle had passed away from a serious heart attack. My whole family broke into tears, and I couldn't help but think about not only my Cousin David, but my Grandpa Franky. This was his 3rd loss of a close family member in only 8 years. His daughter, my Aunt Laura Kay passes in 2000, and his wife, my Granny passes away from cancer in 2004. My grandpa comes off as strong, but as the years go by, I can see the pain in his eyes. Everyone hugged each other, and as they were my Grandpa Franky leaned over and said " Don't be sad Jessie, he is in a better place, just think about the good memories." My grandpa is so right, and I love him so much. He is the solid rock of the Gilkey family, and I don't know what I would do without him.

The visitation was packed full of people. It was said that my Uncle had over 1,000 people come to his visitation. This goes to show you how much of an impact he had on people's lives. I will always miss my Uncle, Granny, and my Aunt Laura Kay, but they are still in my heart, and it eases my heart to know that I will see them again.
I wrote this blog to say this; Whoever you are close to, whether it be family or friends, please find time to spend with every one of them before it's too late. You never know when it will happen, and trust me I had no idea this was coming. I know it's hard to take time and spend it with everyone that you love, but if you make time I promise you will thank God for that time later on, and be glad that you got to spend time with them.

Dedicated to the Gilkey family:
We miss you Lee King, James, Vernell, and Laura Kay Gilkey