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On Rage

August 15, 2011

My uncle passed away this past June. I’d been wanting to write about that and about him,  it’s been too difficult.  Probably me not venting some of those feelings is contributing to my out of the blue irritability.  The fact I haven’t taken any time out for me (well this week was supposed to be that but…)  Like everyone my uncle wasn’t without flaw, he held tight to a lot of beliefs that clashed with most people.  Even so, or maybe even because of that he left an impression on just about everyone.  He and my dad’s sister are two of the few people I can say give/gave me an understanding into what a real family is all about.

There are so many stories my uncle told that stick out.  There is one that I think always really stuck with me and sort of pops up now.

I don’t remember the exact details but my uncle was working for a gas company at the time I believe and I want to say that they were going through a whole bunch of layoffs maybe.  Anyway, there was an incident with a disgruntled employee.  This guy had just lost it for whatever reason and came into my uncle’s office brandishing a gun.  If you’ve never been put in the situation of having someone pull a loaded weapon it’s hard to say how you would react.  But, go a head try to think.  I think even if you’ve been trained you’re still going to be fighting strong natural instincts to fight, flee, or freeze.

No doubt this was a scary situation for my uncle but somehow he managed to put his feelings aside as much as possible.  He took on the role of playing his own hostage negotiator.  He managed to see the situation from this guys perspective and he managed to see what was probably important to this man.  My uncle calmly talked to this man and get him to see that by harming someone else (my uncle & who knows who else he was planning on shooting) that he was ultimately going to end up hurting people he cared vary much about.  My uncle explained that this mans family would end up suffering.  This man was either going to end up in prison for a very long time or if he was contemplating suicide…this mans family was going to suffer consequences of his actions.  My uncle explained that he didn’t think this is what the man intended when he burst in with the gun.

By showing concern for another person when every fiber in his body was probably more concerned with his own neck, my uncle saved two lives.  I don’t recall what happened to that employee in the long run,  though. “Think about your family the people you care about…”, my uncle reminded the man.  No doubt, my uncle was thinking of his own as well but he didn’t express it.

I miss him, but his words & lessons…I’ll carry forever.  And I’m sure at some point I’ll write more about my time with my aunt & uncle.  I’m hoping for many more years with my aunt, too and I hope to make the most of it.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 15, 2011 9:05 pm

    Quite an amazing story…and he was a very wise man.

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