Thursday, November 29, 2007

Route 66

Uncle Bruce was laid to rest yesterday. I've always loved this picture of him as it just shows Bruce. His loves (except he doesn't have a Miller Genuine Draft Light or a Scotch, his drinks of choice in his hand), although my aunt Elaine should have been next to him, unfortunately when this picture was taken, she had already passed away. The car had been his pride and joy, he bought it for her, and with her gone, it was his remnant of her. He continued to take it to car shows, and continued to win awards with it (prior to this car, he had had a '72 VW Bug convertible that won all shows he entered it in). This picture was taken in the summer, as his legion's fireman's dance fundraiser, the Vikings cheerleaders were there and we got them to crowd around him because Bruce appreciated the finer things in life (OK, so it was cheap beer and cheaper scotch usually but still) nice cars, booze and women...

Bruce was the guy that you could count on to help you out with anything that was in his control. He was a wonder with cars, he had a hoist in his garage and was always there to help you out or allow you to use it to get things taken care of on your vehicle. He retired a First Sergent in the Army reserves, and had served a tour of duty in Vietnam when he was in active service. He died on Veterans day, which was fitting, as that had been his life. That and his family. Be it the one he was born to, or the one that adopted and kept him even after Elaine died. I didn't get to see Uncle Bruce that often, usually just a family gatherings, but he was always a favorite uncle. In fact, I had intended on taking him and my other favorite uncle out to a strip club one night...it was discussed over beers, they were of course amiable to that (both being single) unfortunately that never happened. But man, it would've been fun! And yes, I was the one that had suggested it too...what things beer will make you say right?

Jim, Bruce's brother-in-law gave a great eulogy, I have no idea how he was able to get through it. The service was simple, like Bruce, (his brother-in-law and sister are ones to drinker nicer wines and micro-brewed beers, very opposite Bruce!) and we took him to Fort Snelling, where the flag on his coffin was folded and presented to his sister, a 21 gun salute was given, Taps was played, and we said our last farewells...My dad was behind me when we walked past the coffin, and I heard him say "farewell buddy" with a catch in his throat that made me lose it once more. We all met at his legion, had a few drinks, and visited. My sister and I were some of the last to leave, neither of us wanting to go, because it felt like once we left, we were forever leaving him.

One good that came out of the bad. Bruce was an organ donor. His sister abided by his wishes and his organs and tissue were able to help 150 people. Bruce would've liked that. And as Jim said in the eulogy...he pictures Bruce, in his 55 Thunderbird, Elaine as his side, driving down Route 66...and all of us are in the back seat...Bruce, we love you and you'll never be forgotten.

5 comments:

JustRun said...

Sorry to hear of your family's loss. That was a beautiful tribute. I'm sure your uncle would love it.

Nat said...

I hope you are doing better. Nice of you to honor him like this.

Annette said...

I'm sorry about your uncle. I can tell you really loved him. He sounds like a good uncle. :) I'm glad he was remembered in such a positive way.

Kurt said...

Nice post and what a great way to express his impact on you.

Nicole said...

What a great tribute. HUGS