Monday, August 31, 2009

Red Uleskey: 'I wish I did what I didn't do'

As mentioned before many of my father-in-law Red’s sayings grew a little darker as his health deteriorated. Not having faced my own imminent approaching death it is hard for me to understand some of them.

One thing Red began urging us to do a few years ago was to retire as soon as you could and then once retired front load your retirement with travel, fun and adventure. He expressed regret that he spent the first years, his healthy retirement years, staying too close to home believing there would always be time for the adventure. "There will be plenty of time to sit at home," he would advise us.

When his body failed him, the time and chance for adventure was over. In June 2008, when we took a cruise to Alaska, Red was very disappointed that his health prevented him from joining us. Especially since all three daughters and sons-in-law and two granddaughters were on the trip.

There also seemed to be a wistfulness about what his life had meant and what good he had done. So here are the latest installments of Red’s sayings.

I wish I did what I didn’t do.

Age is a huge boulder it’s going to crush you.

Sing when you can, you never know when you’ll lose your voice.

Life’s all about what’s happening this very moment.

It’s nice to get older, you don’t have to remember.

It’s tough to get to 72 it’s a lot tougher if you don’t. (He was 85 when he died)

God let me live long enough to get tired of life.

Death is the only solution to life.

If you never lived, you’re already dead.

I don’t expect much out of life, but I get less.

I didn’t think it was important until it hurt.

There’s little in life that’s real.

I don’t get headaches, I have them.

I guess I’m reasonably unhappy.

You’re only young once, but can be insipient forever.

You learn something every day but you don’t get smarter.

Misstakes make you feel imperfect. (Misstakes misspelled incorrectly on purpose)

Thing built today should last for an eternity.

We have everything, but we have nothing.

Life without love is an empty grave.

One of the worst things about life is that some people are dead and don’t know it.

(Red, a married man for 61 years to Joan, often wrote of love):

It is very difficult to love someone without loving them.

If you want somebody to love you, it better be yourself.

I love more than I despise.

Love is giving.

Then just a few quips for good measure:

He is about as handy as a left-handed snake.

I’m going to wake up sober in the morning but I hope wiser.

I don’t need money, I need some cents.

(There was much discussion in the last years of Red’s life about grave markers. Red wanted his free veteran’s marker for his grave, but his wife, Joan, insisted that she did not want any kind of a marker.
She became known in the family as: “No stone Joan” because of that decision. So buried in Red’s book was this little gem):

Here lies ‘No Stone Joan’ and ‘Stoned John.”

More to come

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