(From left-L.T., Emma (grandparents), Uncle Willie, Aunt Polly, Mom, Dad, Uncle Toby and Aunt Jo-Anne, Uncle John and Aunt Jo, Uncle Charlie and Aunt Shirley, Uncle Trollis, Uncle Larry)
I loved my uncle Willie. He was my mom's oldest brother and was quite a character. He ran shine when he was younger but it is his adult years I want to tell you about today. He was an amazing man. Very active in the Church of God of Prophecy he would literally give you the shirt off of his back. I loved him because he had the best hugs and the greatest laugh. When we would come to Alabama to see my grandparents he was the first person I wanted to see on my mom's side(I will tell you about Uncle Wilson in another post).....I called him, "Robert"...and no...Robert was nowhere in his name. He had all boys and his wife wore her hair in a bun....and it was so long....because she never cut it. They did not have a lot....but they had love and God and that made them very well off. He worked hard for a living in the cotton mill to support his family. In Alex City the cotton mills was pretty much all there was. You could work for Russell Corporation or you could work for Avondale. My grandparents worked for Avondale. It was right across the street from their house. They lived in the mill village. I loved hearing the mill whistle blow when the shifts would end. Alas, I am wandering.....Uncle Willie would give anyone anything if he thought they needed it. I remember hearing him quote Matthew 25 : 35-45 when someone would ask him why he did it. His actions really stuck with me as a child....and still do as an adult. I want to help people who need it.....and not just give them the cull of what I have....but the first fruits. I have enough.....I have more than enough....and there are so many who don't. Uncle Willie touched my life in such a profound way....and I wish I could have told him this.....but before I realized the lesson....he was gone....brown lung/cancer from working his whole life in the cotton mill......but you know....I know he is in heaven....watching me....knowing....and I want to make him proud. I love you Uncle Willie....and I wish you enough.