Pinterest A Grateful Life Lived: The Seagull Lady

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Seagull Lady

     This post isn't really about a Seagull, or a lady, and FYI: the Seagull lady is not any normal lady.  No, this post is about my uncle.  He's the one who let me spend the night at my cousin's house just about twice a week during my childhood.  He's the one who taught me how to shoot a basketball.  He saved me from stingrays,  and yes-- he is possibly the reason I am petrified of birds.
     Growing up, my family would pack up the car every summer and head to Sunset Beach (RELATED: Sunset Beach).  I'm not talking about just my immediate family: I'm talking 10 kids, 4 couples, grandparents, and a couple stray relatives.  We would rent a big beach house and spend a week going berserk, jumping waves, and being a family.  At the time of the Seagull Lady concoction, I was the youngest of the three girl cousins.  This one particular uncle would always take the three of us down to the beach early in the mornings when the tide pools were high and the beach was ours.  This is how he came to save us from stingrays, and it's also how the Seagull Lady was born.
     To be fair, I probably would've been terrified of birds regardless.  However, the Seagull Lady is my first memory associated with birds, so I'll never know for sure.  Anyway, we were down on the beach one morning when my uncle pointed at a Seagull nearby.  He then proceeded to tell us that it wasn't just any Seagull.  "It's the Seagull Lady," he professed.  My eyes widened in horror as he told us about this witch that turned into a Seagull to disguise herself.  I don't know if this witch ate children or something, but whatever he told us was enough to terrify me of Seagulls for a few years.  Just to play with it, he would occasionally point to a Seagull during walks for ice cream or other times.  "That's the Seagull Lady," he would say.  I would back away carefully and stay close to my seagull-identifying uncle, to keep safe.  My two older cousins caught on after a year or so, but prodded me on by pointing out the Seagull Lady themselves.  She was everywhere!  I believed that story for a good three years!
      When I finally found out though, I just pretended I'd known all along.  "Of course she wasn't real," I would say to my uncle.  He would chuckle at my bluff, and that's just how he was: he was a kid.  One time, I he was driving us back from picking some stuff up, and began joking from the front seat.  My cousin-- and his daughter-- began getting upset that he hadn't buckled up.  Finally, when she began yelling, he snapped on his seat-belt and proceeded to take us for a joy ride in the parking lot we were leaving, and over all the speed bumps.  
     That's the best way I would describe my uncle: he went at life full force.  He had fun, he had faith, and he never forgot to be a kid.  He was the one who convinced my mom to let me play select soccer, and then he helped me get better as I progressed.  When my soccer days were over, he continued to follow my running and pray for my faith.  What's even more amazing, is that he kept it up all the way.  When I was younger, he was the fun uncle to hang out with, the one who had the best ideas and the most adventure up his sleeve.  Yet, as I grew, I began to equally admire his faith in God.  
     I didn't know what to do when I heard he was diagnosed with cancer.  I just cried.  I can't even imagine the pain, the doubt, and the struggle he went through during the long battle he had.  I didn't see him cry though.  Not once, until I visited him a month before he died and gave a little gift to him I had found.  He was joking around and smiling, but I saw the little tear in his eye.  I'm sure he was scared-- I know he wasn't a perfect man.  But I will tell you that I never saw such confidence and joy: regardless of what the outcome might be.  My uncle may never know the impact he made in my life, but I was able to tell him I loved him.  I was able to spend those precious moments with him.  I will also tell you, that every time I see a dang Seagull: I can't help but picture that look on his face, "Look-- there she is!"

1 comment:

  1. I just was reading your blog for today and ended here at this post. What a lovely tribute to Greg ... he did keep his faith and he loved being your Uncle... and I remember those words about cancer you gave him touched his heart. Thanks for the wonderful post Hannah