Uncle Cec- Where have you Gone? NULL

My uncle ‘Cec’ was a great inspiration to me. I think of him often and the things he had inspired in me as a child. The last time I saw him was at my brother’s funeral in 2007. He had grown a little feeble and I thought I saw a little glaze in his eyes, very unlike the man I knew as a child. I remembered him as a strong man with broad shoulders,big biceps,and wow, could he saw wood with a bucksaw!


As we sat in my sister’s living room that day, Uncle Cec was in a reflective mood and we reminisced all the times he visited me as a child and the triumphs and tragedies of his life.
He was my dad’s brother, the second son of five boys growing up in the 1930’s in St. Leonard’s, (now known as St.Lunaire) on Newfoundland’s great Northern Peninsula.
Life in early out port Newfoundland during The Great Depression wasn’t easy for anyone and uncle Cec had his share of troubles too. But it was like he’d always used to say, “life is what you make it.”


He told me of some really hard times. Like the great ‘Nor-wester’ - the storm in the fall of ’37 that nearly stripped his family clean. My grandfather used to tell me of this tragedy in bits and pieces but uncle Cec seemed to recall it more vividly.
He told me of winds gusting up to 70 miles per hour and 2 metre waves crashing again the cove, ripping against my grandfather’s wharf and nearly tearing the stagehand apart. "Nearly lost everything that fall,” he said. “Almost everything, ... and we didn’t have much to begin with.”
But he told me he gained courage from my grandmother’s family Bible and read about the tragedies of Job and how he helped my pop’s rebuild that spring and how the fish was so plentiful that year. “What goes around, comes around” was another of his favourite quotes. I swear he had faith as solid as the old rock his daddy’s house was built on.
I remember one summer, he came to live with us at our house in Roddickton, 120 miles south from St. Leonard’s. There were only one winding narrow gravel road connecting the communities in those days so uncle Cec elected to take a two day trip down the coast in an old schooner. He arrived tired and hungry but full of cheer and good wit.


Dad told us uncle Cec came to help him build our new house and to help relieve him of the burden of working all day in the woods and trying to construct a home for his family after dark. But the way he took the time for my brother and I that summer, I just think he came to be our friend. Tired as he was after all day, he took the time to joke, tell stories and take us fishing on Saturdays.

I learned a lot from uncle Cec. He taught me not so much in what he said but in what he didn’t say. The saying, actions speaks louder than words was certainly true for my most beloved uncle. It seemed that nothing got him down.
I honestly never saw him once get discouraged. It seemed he never saw a situation as a problem, only a challenge that could be overcome. When a situations arose, he would roll up his sleeves and get to it.

Uncle Cec was not a wealthy man by any stretch. He saw riches not so much in money as he did in making people happy. Riches to him was just a good reputation . I never saw him get the blues. Blue to Uncle Cec was just the Atlantic ocean on a calm sunny day.
Uncle Cec never married. I don’t know why. I’m sure he would have made a fine husband and father. Love, responsibility and integrity was just a way of life to him. He certainly was a father figure to me and the best role model of an uncle anyone could ask for.
He taught me to have faith in a higher power, never rely on what I think I know and never lie. Lying, he used to say makes a hard life because you are always working hard to cover it up but honesty gives you a clear conscience and makes life easier. king Solomon could not have said it no better himself.


I'm sure there are many uncle Cec's still around today. Some may be still active and sitting around benches in our malls or in nursing homes waiting to give those sweet tid bits of truth we all need. We need more Uncle Cec’s in today's world. Let's not cast them off as "old" but view them more as mentors who have walked down this path of life and can still teach us a thing or two.


“Life is short... live it to the fullest ,”he said.
Just another nugget of wisdom from my uncle Cec, I thought to myself as I shook his hand to say good-bye that day in 2007.

Now that I'm retired, my wife and I get a chance to do a bit of travelling. So in the spring of 2012 we decided to take a trip up The Great Northern Peninsula to visit family and friends. A visit with uncle Cec was on my top priority list. But questions lingered in my mind that day. Was he still that man of value and integrity that I once knew in him? Would he even still remember me? Where does he now live? These questions scrolled over in my mind as I drove up the long Viking Trial to St. Lunaire. I wanted so badly to re-connect with this man; to hear his voice once again and to see how much he had changed in his twilight years.
I learned from my aunt Velma that uncle Cec had grown a little feeble and was now living in a nursing home in St. Anthony. The next day we headed to that place to see my uncle once again.
The kind attendant in the nursing home lead to us to his room. I knocked gently and waited. Moments later he opened the door. We looked at each other for a brief moment.


“Hec, George’s boy!” he said with a smile as we embraced.
His voice, though a little weaker, was still familiar and comforting.
We talked for almost two hours. He told me about his new friends and how he could still beat anyone in a good game of checkers. He still went for his daily walk, took part in the seniors gym classes and his took his weekly trip to the mall. He even joked about his new roommate and how he plans to get him in shape.

Even though he looked a little old and bent and perhaps a little slower from what I remembered him, he still had that twinkle in his eye and positive persona about him.
As I turned to say good-bye I thought I saw a tear in his eye. I fought to hold back from breaking too.


"Don't wait five more years to come see me again," he said with a half-way grin.
"I won't," I promised.


It was a long and reflective drive back home that day.
I know they will bury him some day in that old familiar cemetery where I used to go to see the headstones of my grandparents. But if he should go before me, part of him though will be buried in my heart.



Submitted by Anonymous


Family
Pass It On®
Pass It On®

  email

Your Comments
Here are some other inspiring stories you might like.
BEING THERE
BK SAINI SAINI My husband helped me since he knew me since 1975. He is there for me every single day. He is so kind all the time. He took care of me during any need except not when he is at the job. He comes at home if any emergency arrives. For God’s grace he was never called till today. I still remember when our second baby...
SUBMITTED BY ANONYMOUS
Read Story
LOVE
AMARA OKEKE My hero is my late mother Since 2000, she fells sick. She was diabetic, all my life I have taken care of her , I abandoned my school, my Visa and career to taken care of her , after 19 years of my sufferings she died last two Saturdays..I was actually 6 years when I started cooking, doing house chores for my...
SUBMITTED BY ANONYMOUS
Read Story
BRAVERY
HARRIET TUBMAN Harriet Tubman freed 300 slaves she was so brave that is why she is my hero
SUBMITTED BY ANONYMOUS
Read Story
COMPASSION
CHARLIE SCHULZ My son, Charlie, was an inspiration to many during his 19 years on this earth. When Charlie was in 5th grade, despite what we learned later was severe social anxiety, their strong sense of what was right led them to circulate petitions among their 5th grade schoolmates and write and present a statement (through...
SUBMITTED BY ANONYMOUS
Read Story
ACHIEVEMENT
AXANA SOLTAN Axana’s steadfast commitment to service made her not only an international voice of activism, but also a champion for the minorities. For the year of 2018-2019, Axana was selected as one of the United Nations finalists to serve as the U.S.A Youth Observer at United Nations Headquarters. The following year, Axana...
SUBMITTED BY ANONYMOUS
Read Story
PEACE
DANA W Grieving (Fly High Dana Wilson Jr.) On March 7, 2022 my only little brother passed away at home in his bed. This has been one of the hardest things to deal with. I dont think a day goes by that i dont find myself breaking down crying. I think my eyes are puffy did alot of crying yesterday..omg this is really...
SUBMITTED BY ANONYMOUS
Read Story
STRENGTH
ANDRE D On May 2, 2014 Andre' MY HUSBAND at the age of 42 suffered a massive heart attack, he was without oxygen to his brain for several minutes. It caused an Anoxic Brain Injury and other problems such as cortical blindness, seizures and he is bedridden for the rest of his life and resides in a nursing home. The...
SUBMITTED BY ANONYMOUS
Read Story
KINDNESS
WENDY T Wendy was my wife of 4 years. We dated in high school, over 30 years ago. Eight years ago, we reconnected, and fell in love all over again. I quickly became attuned to why she was so special: Her kindness. I had never met anyone before, who showed as much kindness to everybody, as Wendy had. It wasn't one...
SUBMITTED BY ANONYMOUS
Read Story
HELPING OTHERS
SAWYER A. After learning about children and families in the poverty-stricken villages of Zambia; a country in south-central Africa, Sawyer Anderson wanted to help bring clean, safe water to the villagers. At age 9, Sawyer wrote and illustrated the book, Water Works, which is published in America, Vietnam (in Vietnamese)...
SUBMITTED BY ANONYMOUS
Read Story
CARING
TISH R My former wife is an amazing individual. She works as a behavior analyst, and has been helping injured others achieve a much greater quality of life. In one of my proudest specific memories, she facilitated a transition for a man who was in an ALF, brain-injured, from wearing diapers in a wheelchair to...
SUBMITTED BY ANONYMOUS
Read Story
CARING
BETTY DRUCK I want to tell you about my grandmother,she is in her late 50's,she has spent everyday of her life caring for everyone she meets.She has had multiple surgeries and other problems of her own and yet she has given everything for her family,she has spent every christmas with my dad,even when she was in other...
SUBMITTED BY ANONYMOUS
Read Story
WISDOM
JAHSEH O There are many heros I look up to, but Jahseh Onfroy helped me through the darkest times in my life. His music did not only help me but it helped countless people. When he spoke to us, it was always about growing and becoming better than what we are. I have learned many valuable lessons from him, and I constantly...
SUBMITTED BY ANONYMOUS
Read Story
MENTORING
MISTY WELLS 5 Years ago Misty saw a need in children in Foster Care and she took action. For the past 5 years going strong Misty started a non profit called " A Reel Future" where she takes children in Group Foster Care fishing. She has single handed taken over 3,000 foster children fishing. She is showing them...
SUBMITTED BY ANONYMOUS
Read Story
FAMILY
PAT C Next to his faith in God, the most important thing in my Dad’s life was his family; my Mom who was the love of his life, his kids, grandkids, great grandkids, brothers, and sisters. One of the ways he made life better for all of us and left his fingerprint on our lives was through the use of what I like to call...
SUBMITTED BY ANONYMOUS
Read Story
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
LORI R. In 2012 Lori, along with her then high school age daughter Shira, began to keep their vehicle filled with pet supplies to hand out to the pets living on the streets of Riverside, CA with their homeless companions. They would give out pet food, leashes, collars and water so the pets would be fed well and kept...
SUBMITTED BY ANONYMOUS
Read Story
KINDNESS
MOTHER TERESA Mother Teresa was born in Albania and left her home country very early in life. She lived in Ireland to learn English, and ultimately went to India where she resided until her death. She was a beacon of hope for many. She did not look to caste, class, religion, skin color, or any other identity to separate...
SUBMITTED BY ANONYMOUS
Read Story
Where did your values come from?

We've all had people in our lives who have made a positive impact on us. A parent or grandparent, a sibling who was there for us, or maybe even just a guy who shines shoes for a living? Whoever they are, tell us their story so they can inspire us even more.

Tell Us Your Story All Everyday Hero Stories