Not every family tree has a giant. But ours did. I remember when I first met him. I was five and shorter than a yardstick. He was the biggest creature I had ever stood next to. His knees were higher than my head and to say I was scared would be an understatement. You’ve heard that someone can be so frightened, they wet their pants? Well, not quite, but it certainly wouldn’t have taken much more to push me to that point.
I used to think that Aunt Bess must have searched the entire earth to find a giant to marry. Even when I had reached my full height potential of five feet, he was enormous. Standing a full 6’8″, my uncle could easily have done damage without even realizing it. But his manner was so gentle and he was so easy-going that I learned to love him as much as anyone else in my family; truth be told, a little more than some. But that’s another story.
Uncle Goliath (no, not his real name, but appropriate, don’tcha’ think?) used to like to hand out silver dollars. He actually started that practice before he married Aunt Bess. Whenever we hadn’t seen him in awhile, he’d flash that impish grin, reach into his pockets and say, “Now, I wonder what I might find in these pockets?”
Then, one at a time, he’d pull out a silver dollar and hand it to one of us children. We never knew who would be next to receive the huge coin, but we always knew he had one for each of us. In those days, silver money was quite common. Dimes, quarters, half-dollars and dollars were all made from silver and it never occurred to any of us to save them for another day. No, we quickly rushed to the closest candy store and traded our silver treasure for something sweet and little more palatable.
I often think about my dear uncle and wish I could have just one more hug from him. He gave the best hugs. I know I’ll see him again, but some days I think how nice it would be if we could just sit and chat for awhile.
I also have an Uncle David; certainly not a giant. Someday, I’ll tell you the story of David and Goliath. We have many stories of interest in our family tree, as I’m sure you do, too. I do hope you are taking the time to record those family tales for your children and their children ’cause no one else knows ’em like you do.
Until the next time, keep a hug on.