My Uncle Janusz was my Dad’s only sibling. He did not have his own children, and my brother and I were the only children in his life. Our best summer holidays were spent on his farm in the countryside.
My uncle had the special gift of making every person feel very special. When we came to visit him, he would cook for us and ask his friends to make our favorite dishes and desserts. His kitchen would be filled with food we loved. Often, he would have a pet kitten or rabbit to show me when I arrived and to my parents horror, all those pets were for me to bring home!
During our stay, he would also buy other animals for us to admire or play with. For example, the mini Chinese chickens with fancy hairdos, a goat that would chase my little cousins, a cow called Milka that would follow us around like a dog, and a beautiful but very scary rooster.
Uncle Janusz also loved to play pranks on people. He would often pretend that he saw a mouse and quickly throw something on the floor, especially when there were ladies around. There would be a lot screaming and jumping on furniture. I saw women in their seventies jumping on the table in a matter of seconds.
Uncle Janusz was also a morning person and if he thought we were sleeping too long, he would blair out loud music and start singing along to it or shouting out our names.
Every Valentine?s Day, I would get a card from Uncle Janusz. He would sign the card as ?Anonymous?. He would even get his friends to write his messages so that the handwriting would be different every year. Then he would call me and ask me how many Valentines card I got that year. When I thanked him for the card, he would say that he didn’t know what I was talking about.
At the time, I didn?t fully appreciate those cards from him. They would always bring a smile on my face but still, they were from my UNCLE and not from some handsome admirer.
Unfortunately, I never thought to send a Valentine?s card to my uncle. He passed away before I recognised the meaning and long lasting effects of his actions.
Little acts of love and kindness can change our lives. It is up to us if we want to see them and appreciate them.
Don?t look only for some grand gesture of love (which will rarely happen). The more meaningful ones are the little everyday gestures of love.
When I remember my uncle’s loving gestures, and recall the happiness and laughter and fond memories, I can only now truly appreciate them because it is only now that I truly understand that the basis of all his acts was love.
See and appreciate people in your life – make your relationships with others meaningful ones. Jesus? love compels us to no longer live just for ourselves but for others (2 Corinthians?5:14-15)
Make love your priority.
Dear Uncle Janusz
I just want to say that I loved you very much. You filled my summers with amazing adventures. All the gifts from you were thoughtful and brought a lot of fun in my life. I felt safe and loved by you. I can?t wait to see what you get up to one day.