Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Mighty Stone in the Little Family

Today March 17th 2010 at around 3am James Leo Little passed away at 89 years old. He was my Great Uncle by title, but in truth he was so very much more. If I had to choose one word to describe my Uncle it would be presence. He was always there for us. As a child I didn't realize how valuable just being around truly was. James Leo or Uncle Leo to me had no children or grandchildren of his own, and my grandfathers had passed on before my time. So you could say we sort of adopted each other without realizing. He lived a stones throw away from my childhood home, and his yard and home where often time playgrounds for my brother and me. I can remember begging my Mom to let us ride our bikes down the old gravel road to his house. She finally said yes! He never once told us we couldn't be there. He was a stable, strong presence in our lives. He let me bang on his piano, or sift through boxes of old photographs. He taught my brother to play cards. They formed a relationship over those cards that I believe will surpass time. Our dear Uncle would get this huge smile on his face then he would proceed to remind us of how spoiled we where, and he was right! He called my husband Steve"O" and my middle son Wes"O" we would joke that because his name ended in an "O" that every one's name should end that way. His face would light up when he found out we where visiting for the weekend. I think he liked watching my three boys run around him, or little roosters as he called them. Uncle Leo was a one of a kind character, he was a loyal friend to many. Uncle Leo cherished his friendships. The late Pete Peterman and Uncle Leo double trouble those two gadabouts where. You could usually find the two of them at church, senior citizen's center or hanging out with the rest of their veteran buddies. He always looked forward to weekend breakfast with E.B. Gray, and the two of them would argue over who got to pay the bill. He also enjoyed so much being up in the air in Greg Booher's airplane flying over Overton County. Uncle Leo had many adventures with many dear friends that he thought of more like family. He loved pancakes and chocolate cake, he was a war veteran, a piano player, a collector of everything, a storyteller, and a believer in Jesus. He was the kind of man to feed stray dogs. Then of course lie about it because he didn't want to be to much of an old softy. He is in almost every major memory that my heart treasures: graduations, birthday parties, Christmas, family vacations, my wedding, family dinners, summer afternoons just hanging out on the farm. He was a strong, beautiful presences in our lives, and I loved him! He was a secure, mighty stone in my families structure, and I loved him for just being there and being my Uncle Leo! I will forever miss him, and my heart is heavy in saying goodbye, but we shall meet again!

Written in love by Leo Little's Great Niece


Anna Marie said...

Jamie, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Sounds like you created many memories which are so important.

Alyssa said...

That was really beautiful Jamie. I have the most fond memories also that will stay in my heart forever.

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