This is an old picture of my Uncle Ron holding me when I was less than two-years-old.
Did you have a father figure? A birth dad? An uncle? A pastor? A character from a television show?
I never had a dad that I can remember, but I had a couple of uncles who in my mind filled that role. They were important to me in my life as a young boy, a young man, a middle-ager and now a senior citizen.
During those times I desperately needed a pattern that I could follow on how to be a man. You know what I mean? I had a great mom who loved me unconditionally, but she was not a guy. I needed a man's perspective on life and how to interact with the world.
One of those guys, my Uncle Ron Anderson died early this morning at the age of 92.
I wonder if he ever knew that as a young guy I watched his every move to see how he handled every situation life threw at him. I saw how he interacted with his wife, my Aunt Aileen and with his kids. And I observed how he interacted with God in his everyday life.
He was a World War II vet who served in the South Pacific. He married my aunt when she was still a teenager. He was born with a fascination for radios and that carried through the rest of his life. He had one of the first two-way radio businesses for Motorola. He was one of the first dealers for Apple who sold their original brown box computers.
Like my Aunt Aileen, he gave freely to those they could help and that included my mom. They would ask for nothing in return.
They experienced deep personal hardship, including the loss of their son and other challenges that would sink the average person. They faced all this together for the 70 plus years that they were married.
I could say much more. His life made a difference for a lot of people including mine.
He knew he was loved by God and he reflected that in his life. He knew that love gives and that love receives.
My Uncle Ron and me talking at their home in Florida.