Monday, July 20, 2009

What I Learned From My Uncle Carroll

Carroll Lee Dickenson, born August 17, 1941, passed away Sunday morning, July 19, 2009. He spent the day before his death surrounded by his family, and was sleeping peacefully when he passed. Thank you to everyone who has lifted our families in your prayers over the past 6+ months. Your calls, emails, texts, cards, and visits have meant so much to all of us.

A few things have been running through my mind for the past few days. Of course, anytime more than two members of our family get together, there is going to be some storytelling. If you’ve never heard a Dickenson tell a story…well, you probably have accomplished something with all that free time. We, meanwhile, will have started on another story mid-stream, so please jump in and catch up! It’s been no different over the past months and days: lots of stories and histories were rehashed and told, some of which many of us had never heard. And many of the “Dickenson-isms” that have become part of our family language were thrown around and explained to visitors. I started realizing many of these nuggets were straight from Uncle Carroll. So, here are some things I learned from my Uncle Carroll…..

  • Tomatoes are good for you. They may taste disgusting, but you should eat at least one slice for dinner before you say you don’t like it. Especially if they came straight from the garden earlier that afternoon.
  • Clean your plate…..see above regarding tomatoes.
  • Do not kill the spiders in the corners. They are catching bugs, and have names. Uncle Carroll would never kill the spiders that terrorized me as a child, but told me they were his pets.
  • List all the cars you have ever owned. If it’s less than 50 cars in 52 years, you have some catching up to do.
  • If you can buy a beat-up, rusted-out version of the car you owned at 16, you should definitely buy it and restore it.
  • No family gathering is complete without one or more of the following: country ham, deer bologna, or shrimp.
  • Do NOT fill up on the cheap food. There’s something better coming down the line.
  • Go out to eat after church. Spend time with your family catching up and sharing a club sandwich.
  • Listen when a waitress says her name. Use it to address her so she takes your service a little more personally.
  • Travel a lot. You’ll have interesting stories to tell the grandkids.
  • Take lots of videos of your travels and organize movie nights to show them to your family. They’ll have more fun than they let on, I promise.
  • Sing it like you know it. This was wisdom imparted during choir practice, but applies in so many places.
  • Whatever song you sing, do really well at the beginning and the end. That’s all anyone really listens to anyway.
  • Sing through the rests. They are only suggestions.
  • Stick to the time schedule. Unless it needs to change to accommodate you!
  • Every vacation should be as education as possible. Visit lost colonies, take in outdoor dramas, and go to museums dedicated to the World’s Largest Whatever.
  • Trips to the beach are not for sunbathing. Wake up at 6, walk on the beach, and have breakfast followed by lunch followed by a seafood buffet. Repeat daily for 4-7 days.
  • If you keep walking through the pine trees, you’ll eventually see the lighthouse, and it will be amazing.
  • Bug spray on a hat keeps the gnats out of your eyes when everyone else is being eaten alive by noseeums.
  • That funny spot might just be a tick, so check it out in good light.
  • Make your exits gracefully, with great dignity, and surrounded by those you love. Especially that last exit.

We will all miss Uncle Carroll horribly, but know that he is safe with the Lord. He told our minister that he can’t wait to see the tree stand Jesus has picked out for him, and that’s how I’ll always think of him in my heart.

2 comments:

Kaye said...

well.....today is the Memorial Service. Having to stand for hours in heels while my heart aches is gonna be hard, but I know we can pull this off. Brother Carroll gave us instructions.

I thought I was fine today until I read your blog. How touching. He was very proud of you and the good work you do. He sure liked to tease you about those tomatoes, didn't he?

Thanks to both you and Brian for all your help. Remember the song...We Are Family! Love you, Mom

Aholeleis said...

Hello! I found your blog from WTM.:) I really enjoyed reading your Uncle Carroll's quotes; may God bless you and comfort you as you think of him with Jesus now...:)