Uncle John by Julia Wilson

A Legacy Of Love

Ninety years ago today my beloved Uncle John was born. He was the firstborn, followed by my Dad three years later. My Dad always talks with pride about his older brother. A bond formed in childhood, strengthened following the death of their father in 1942, leaving a close knit household of three with my Nanny at the head.

Uncle John had a love of learning and studied to become a teacher, and then became a head teacher of Jessons Primary in Dudley. He had a passion for imparting knowledge into children, and when given the choice to retire in the term before or after his 65th birthday, he chose after.

My Uncle John was married to the love of his life, my Auntie Jean. He was devastated when she lost her battle with cancer in 1987.

I have many fond memories of Uncle John. When I was young, every Saturday my Dad took myself and my twin brothers to see my Nanny. Uncle John was there too and he always had time to play with us. Sometimes my Nanny walked me round to Uncle John and Auntie Jean’s house, where I loved their big garden, Auntie Jean’s cooking and their cat, Topsy.

Uncle John encouraged mine and my brothers learning as we grew. Christmas presents that I remember included the Oxford dictionary, the Bible and the complete works of Jane Austen… my journey as a bookaholic was already well established.

As I grew up, married and became a Mum, Uncle John always took an interest in inspiring learning in my children – buying them books to read and giving me tips to help them learn.

We are a close knit extended family. Every celebration of birthdays and Christmas always included Uncle John. He was always jokey and loved playing games with my children… the black spot (from Treasure Island) being a firm favourite of us all. After our youngest was born, my Uncle John always called him the Bonnie Prince (after Bonnie Prince Charlie).

In January 1996 Uncle John died suddenly, devastating us all. We all missed him and life has never been the same since. There is always an empty chair at our celebrations and a hole in our hearts.

Twenty one years later, we still miss Uncle John but thanks to the hope of heaven that we have in Jesus, I know that one day we will be reunited – and what a glorious day that will be.

Until then, have a wonderful birthday in heaven Uncle John. We are thinking of you down here. Thank you for your love and your huge heart.

All that remains for me to say is, good night. God bless. See you in the morning.


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