Remembering Uncle Wayne

This past Friday (1/13/2012) Rebecca and I drove to Maryland so that we could then spend 17 hours on Saturday riding from Poolesville Maryland to Burlington Iowa with her parents (Ray & Reva) and sister, Francie.

We laughed and joked and talked about life, death, family, friends, politics, religion, economics and the Internets. Never a dull moment during our non-stop trip and we arrived at our destination still friends.  A great road trip with good people.

However, the trip was for Uncle Wayne’s funeral in Burlington IA.  This was a trip none of us were excited about having to make.

We arrived in Burlington Saturday evening and were greeted by numerous other family members at the hotel. Turns out, the hotel was filled with friends and family of Emery Wayne Hoewing. We spent some time saying hello before calling it a night.

Sunday morning we met up with Rebecca’s oldest brother, Link and his wife, Frannie.  We traveled down to Keokuk Iowa with hopes of seeing Rebecca’s grandparents old homesteads.  It was a bittersweet trip.  One of the homes was completely gone and the other home was in complete disrepair.  We met up with more family members and had a good Midwest lunch at a place called OGO Family restaurant before heading back north to Burlington.

Late Sunday afternoon was the viewing where we met lots of distant family members. We spent a few hours here as over 100 people showed up to pay their respects to Uncle Wayne and the family.  It was a hard time for the family.

Afterwards a bunch of us went to a local restaurant to have our long sought after Midwestern Breaded Tenderloin dinner.

The evening ended with us meeting at the Hotel conference room. Thirty or so family members got together to tell Uncle Wayne stories and get to know each other better. We had a good time.  There was a story about Room 232, Mr. 232 and the girl who said she was going to meet me in room 232 and then didn’t.  Don’t ask.

Monday morning was the funeral.  It was a somber time for us all.  Numerous family members shared memories of Uncle Wayne.  I shared a story that I wrote titled “What Rewards have you Received.”

After the funeral we got together for a lunch provided by the Woman’s auxiliary of Uncle Wayne & Aunt Barbs church. Good people – thanks.

Afterwards we did something a little different.  We got together at Aunt Barb’s for a while, went to dinner at Gator’s and then went to the Casino.

Yes – a Casino. It was a good way to spend some time with Aunt Barb as she remembered her & Uncle Wayne’s experiences at the Casino.  Some of us lost a few dollars while a few of us won a couple hundred $$.  I did not win anything.

Tuesday Morning (5:30AM) – back on the road for an east bound trip back to Maryland. Another 17 hours on the road.  We stopped only for gas and grab & go food. Again we had a good time traveling together.

We got back to Poolesville by 10PM. A couple of hours relaxing from the road trip and then off to bed.

Finally, Wednesday morning Rebecca and I hopped into the Honda and headed south back to NC.

The entire trip was a fast paced and emotional.  We are all sorry that Uncle Wayne passed away. Yet we know that all of us are on the same journey which eventually includes death.  What’s important is to get the most from life and to give as much as you can while living. Uncle Wayne did this.  We participated in this ourselves while on this road trip.

Thanks Aunt Barb, Tina, Candi, Dean, Kyle, Ryan, Kayla, Allanah, Mary and everyone else for sharing the love and time with us.

Rest in peace Uncle Wayne as we keep your memory living on as we strive to be & do the best we can in life.