August 29, 2014

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RIP Uncle Randy PDF Print
Saturday, February 08, 2014 9:00 PM

The Spencer family saw the passing of its patriarch this week. We laid Uncle Randy to rest on Friday. He was the eldest of the three Spencer brothers with my father-in-law Max the middle boy and Uncle Norm the baby. Their sister, Vivienne, was gone long before I joined the clan.

I first met Uncle Randy at his cottage at Indian Lake. The first thing I noticed about him was his sly wit. When he said something that might seem like a little bit of fib (not that Uncle Randy or either of his brothers would fib) or he was teasing, all you had to do was look at his eyes. If they were twinkling, he was pulling your leg. His eyes twinkled a lot.

Uncle Randy was a big man — well over six feet tall. He also had an easy-to-listen-to baritone voice and told great stories. The whole Spencer clan has great stories because they compete for who can be the orneriest.

One thing Uncle Randy insisted on was that everyone got along. You could have the usual squabbles between siblings and cousins but they were put to rest before the sun went down. The family definitely lives by the rule of “I can do anything I want to my brother or sister but no one else better lay a finger on them.” You just don’t mess with the Spencers. There’s too many of them and not enough places to hide.

Randy wasn’t afraid to ask the tough questions, either. If he wanted to know something, he asked. Since the Spencer clan was taught to respect their elders, you answered. If he heard something, he didn’t tip-toe around the issue. He came right out with it and expected clarification.

He was also generous to a fault. If you needed something and it was within his power to give it to you, it was yours. He also did it in a way that everyone felt good about. He was there to help if he could.

Even though we were all gathered for a sad occasion, it was a Spencer gathering. There was lots of laughter and tears and stories. I think we even heard a few new ones.

There was lots of hugging and catching up and looking at pictures. We have several new Spencers on the way, too. Although one of the links in our chain is gone, we did a pretty good job of melding the ends back together so we can all carry on together.

As with any funeral of a close family member, you start to take stock in your relationships. It had been a long time since the majority of the Spencer cousins had been all together in one place. We’re all busy and have jobs and kids and grandkids and blah, blah, blah.

My husband and I decided we are going to stop making excuses and if we can make it to a gathering or event, we will make it. Life is too short to have regrets and to look back and think woulda, coulda, shoulda.

Thanks Uncle Randy. As usual, you set us straight.


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