A tribute written for my brother, my Bub. With God’s grace, I was able to honor his life by also sharing this at his funeral.
One of the things my brother loved to do was reminisce, so I wanted to share a few memories and reminisce a bit about him. Over the days leading up to his funeral, numerous stories were shared with me about the wonderful man that he was. Here are just a few.
My mom shared a memory about when I was a baby and my brother was only 9 or 10. She said that on Saturday mornings if I woke up and he heard me he would go into my room, get me from my crib, and set me up in the living room so my parents could sleep a little longer. I’m sure he rearranged me just right so we could watch cartoons together. During his teenage years, he would baby sit some evenings, and I remember him always tucking me in at night, snuggling the blankets around me and kissing me goodnight. We never seemed to have those contentious sibling moments so many brothers and sisters do. The worst thing I remember him doing was during a time before remote controls. He would convince me to come into the living room “for something” and then ask me to change the television station. He would laugh and laugh as I stomped back into the other room.
I remember how each November my dad and brother would go up to deer camp with all our uncles and cousins and how much he enjoyed those times. The guys would come back and talk about the hunt and who got a deer and how it all went down. But not my brother, he talked about the good times they had, the late nights staying up playing cards…and doing who knows what, and being together. My uncle Tobe shared, “We’re not sure Ron even shot a gun in the last 15 years, but it didn’t matter to him; he was just content to be up there with everybody.”
Mike, a close family friend, is a few years younger than my brother. He shared that when our families were together my brother would invite him to hang out in his room, and they would listen to music and eat Doritos with French Onion Dip (one of my brother’s specialties) and drink Mountain Dew (one of his favorites). As a young kid, Mike thought it was so cool that an upper-classmen would include him in this way. He also said he would see my brother at school with his football buddies, and “even though he didn’t have to” he would always make an effort to acknowledge him.
Our cousin shared of a story when she was a teenager and my brother was in his early twenties. She was in a very difficult situation pretty late at night, and her parents were out of town and unable to get to her. They got a hold of my brother who lived nearby, and he went and picked her up. She said he took her home to their house and stayed next to her on the couch until her parents were able to be there in the morning.
And just this past summer, my mom and brother and I were driving back to Hopkins and we stopped for ice cream. My mom and I finished ours and my brother was still working on his. Since my mom was driving she asked if we should get going and said he could finish in the car. He stalled a bit and said he preferred to finish there because he didn’t want to get back and make Kelly and her daughter feel bad that we had some without them.
Throughout the years, my brother’s character never changed. His first thoughts were always about others. He so often put everyone before himself. And he took care of others instead of himself.
He meant so much to each of us. He was…
A father’s son – always wanting to make him proud
A mother’s son – always close and there to help
A sister’s brother – always caring and protecting
Three boys’ father – his everything – always loving, always sacrificing
Two babies’ Papa – always happy, always giving
So special to many – always loyal, always sincere, always fun
My brother, my friend
My parents only son
Loving father, happy Papa
Kind toward all
His compassion ran deep
Whose heart was too weak
Our loss is great
But our memories remain
It’s not the end
But I’ll see you again
So, I’ll end this with how he and I ended every conversation between us.
He would say in his easy-going drawn out way…
“Weellll, talk to ya later.”
“Sounds good, love you Bub.”
“Yuup, love you too.”
Video and more pictures from his life here: http://www.cookfamilycares.com/notices/Ronald-VanderMoore