Paul, the Spitting Image

Today was my Uncle Paul's funeral. Uncle Paul had worldly success, but it is so fascinating that when you die, no one cares about your worldly success. What mattered today was his influence on his family and friends. He embodies the Warnock name -- tall, intelligent, thick hair, strong personality, outsized work ethic, love of learning, and love of playing, especially outdoors. Driven, smart, firm in convictions. I can tell you that many of these traits come straight from Scotland, our ancestral home. 

Paul was not my actual uncle, he was my grandfather's youngest brother, but he took on a larger role in my life after my grandpa died because Paul was the spitting image of my grandpa -- his twin, his double. He would walk into the room and me and my cousins would gasp because it looked and felt like Grandpa had come back from the grave. Everyone would cry and hug him. I told him several times that he would have to be my stand-in grandpa, and he indulged all of us. I don't know how to express what it felt like to have my dead grandfather walk into a room, in the form of Uncle Paul -- they looked that much alike. And their voices sounded alike. And Paul was as tall as me (6'4") so getting a hug from him was a special treat. 

Aunt Helen has been bedridden for years and we all thought we were waiting for Helen to go, so imagine the shock when Uncle Paul died. My grandpa wore himself out taking care of my bedridden grandmother, and Uncle Paul did the same. Their fidelity to their wives is a bright example to me of the real definition of what it means to love someone. 

Uncle Paul embodied the very best of the Warnock family name, and I hope to grow up to be like him. He was a deep thinker, a deep spiritualist, unafraid to ask questions, unafraid to make money and weld influence while passionate about doing good and lifting burdens. He understood Plato's Cave, what is meaningful,  and what will eventually crumble to dust without meaning. Today I was reminded so strongly of my great-grandpa Irvin, Paul's father, and great-grandma Lexia and how their influence has come through generations now. 

Thank you, Uncle Paul and Aunt Helen. I don't think you know how many people, including me, were quietly watching and studying your example. 

1 comment:

  1. That was a touching way to show gratitude and love for your Uncle and Aunt, Caleb. It just goes to show how they have made you and your family feel loved, and how he kind of become a stand-in dad for your grandpa since they were twins. It must have felt good in his side as well since he surely misses his brother as well and in becoming his brother's image, he makes him know how much love he has for him and his family. Thanks for sharing his story to us. Take care!

    Walton Baylor @