Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Man and the Mountains

His name was Ruble, but folks often called him R.P.  At 84 years old, he lived a full life, even though the doctors said he wouldn’t make it to age 18 because of a battle with rheumatic fever when he was 13 years old.   I love the name Ruble…perhaps it is because I loved the man so.   It is a robust name, just as robust as the man and his beautiful deep voice.   I’ve heard his hearty laughter ringing in my ears several times over the past few days since he left us.     

He married my dad’s sister, Maggie, in 1951, and they were married 59 years.  Though I love all my cousins, I am closer to his daughter, Debbie, and her wonderful family.  Life and distance keeps me from seeing my kin as often as I’d like.  I haven’t seen RP in some time; last October, Roger (Ole Boy) and I were planning to visit, but Roger got sick and we had to cancel the plans.   On the weekend that we buried him, Roger and I were planning to take a quick run up so that I could see him, and I knew it would be my last time…only….if only.

However, it would not really be the “last time” I would have seen him.   Because we are so fortunate and blessed to know Jesus, our family will spend eternity together in a place where parting and grief and pain and sorrow will be completely and forever unknown.   At the cross, Jesus gave us, among so many other gifts, hope.  

Ruble will indeed be missed on this earth.   His grandson, Nicholas, referred to him as a true gentleman.   I couldn’t agree more; and like Nick, I know we were all honored to have had him in our lives.

As we travelled the miles to say goodbye and to be with our family during their heartbreak this past weekend, I wanted to ponder.   I looked at my own parents and pushed back thoughts of just how fragile life is.  I chose, instead, to reflect on the man and the mountains, a place he loved, and a place I love, as well.

Even at a very young age, I knew Ruble was special, and I liked him a lot.   Memories flood me as I try to write this blog…from his assuring me, as a small preschooler, that I didn’t, after all, have worms in my pants (I don’t know why I thought I did!), to him taking me on a drive around the mountains, showing me such picturesque scenery, that I fully understood why he loved the area so.    I remember silly things that we talked about over the years, like how he liked pens that wrote bold and not fine, and that he had neat handwriting. 

In later years, I always told him he was my favorite.   I meant it…I hope I didn’t hurt any of my other uncles’ feelings, because I wasn’t too discreet when I would tell him this. 

The night before his funeral, Debbie asked me if I could believe he’s gone.   No, I can’t.   I wanted to offer some comfort, something to help her through the day…I failed miserably.    But what can we say at a time like this?   I know that God will supply all the grace we need to see us through the tough days.  I assured her that He would give her the grace to make it though the next day, and He did.   His supply of grace is unending, and He will continue to supply.

Goodbye, Sweet Uncle Ruble.


  1. (((Meg and family)) thank you for sharing RP with us. I too like his name, so different, but so appropriate for such a gentleman. I am so glad he was in your family and you had a chance to get to know him and spend time with him. And one day in the not too distant future at the blink of an eye, you all will be together for eternity with Jesus walking among you all!


  2. Praying for your family. It is always hard to lose such a special person like your uncle.My "favorite" uncle, well my only uncle on this side of the family died of a masssive heart attack July 9, 1991. Three weeks after I graduated high school. He had been taking dance lessons. I was the first and last person he ever danced with except his instructor. I loved him so much. My aunt has since married two more times and when I introduce her husband, I refer to him as eactly that, her husband not my uncle. . No one can ever take his place.

  3. You wrote this with eloquence.
    I am sorry for your loss. ~Mary

  4. I am so sorry about the loss of your uncle. What a lovely tribute.

  5. what a wonderful tribute! it is hard to believe he is gone, but comforting to know that he is no longer in pain. and we will see him again some day, along with granny and grampa and other loved ones who have gone on before us.

  6. Your love for your Uncle Ruble shines through in your words here. I am happy for you that you know you will all be re-united, and that we have that comfort from the Lord.


  7. Beautiful post Recluse! It is comforting to know the people we love who have Jesus get their heavenly promotion doesn't it?!

  8. A wonderful tribute to a special man in your life. You are right that we have such a wonderful hope in Christ (as the Bible puts it.) I have such wonderful treasures in heaven that I'm waiting to see again in my Mom, Dad, Brother, and so many aunts. As I get older, I seem to be storing up more and more of these treasures... at least that's the way I've learned to look at it. Someday, I will get to see them again. God does help us get through the rough times of their loss, and I will be praying for you and your family, that you all feel God's wonderful loving arms holding you during this trying time.


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