Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Goodbye Uncle Adrian

As a child I spent many, many hours exploring every nook and cranny on this farm. I climbed trees and threw pine cones, fell off fences & bled everywhere, fed sheep, cows & goats, bottle fed lambs, watched shearers from the rafters of the shearing shed, held tight on the back of a dirt bike, played in the creeks, adopted baby bunnies, spun wooden tops, camped out on the floor of the living room, got up at dawn and wondered at the precision teamwork of a farmer and his sheepdog.

My Aunt and Uncle were the best kind: hand picked by my Mom. They were generous, hospitable, hardworking and humble. Along with my grandparents, they were the living embodiment of godly marriage, family and community in my childhood. Through my teens, as my parents marriage dissolved and life got complicated, they were there. Their home was always a refuge. I haven't seen them in 13 years, and even though I'm now half a planet away, I'll never forget. 

My Uncle Adrian was asked to give a speech at my 21st birthday, the traditional coming-of-age landmark in Australia. My Dad was not able to be there, so Mom had astutely chosen him to speak words of wisdom. I can only recall snippets of what he said, statements about character, humility and how I had reached manhood with honor.
He was wrong.
At least for the then and there, I didn't deserve the praise. I was hurtful, shallow, self-serving, and in my heart, I knew it and felt rightly shamed. But in the months shortly thereafter, I began life anew as a christian and had his words as guideposts on the real journey into manhood. What a blessing his life example has been to me: be humble, work hard, love your family and love God. 

Uncle Adrian, I miss you and are so thankful for everything you did for me. I can think of no higher compliment than, as we now raise own brood, we intentionally pick and place "adopted" Uncles like yourself in our kids lives. 

LUSH Adrian Hartley
Of Corriedale Hills
Inman Valley
26/1/1929 ~ 6/1/2011
Passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family at Victor Harbor Private Hospital, after a short illness. Much loved Husband of Margaret. Loved and respected Father and Father-in-law of Judith and Wayne, Rodney and Sally, Brenton and Jo, & Gavin and Peta. Adored Grandpa/Pa of James, Royce and Darcy, Brianna,
Jeremy and Megan, and Nathan, Isaac and Zoe. Son of Hartley and Lois Lush (both deceased). Brother of 
Bernie and Laurie (both deceased), Joy and Faye.
A man of faith and strong family values who set a good example for his family and community.
A true gentleman who will be deeply missed.
Tending his sheep to the last day and now with the Good Shepherd.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry for your loss. It sounds like he lived a great life and left positive impressions on those around him.