Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Uncle Brent

When I think about Uncle Brent a few things come to mind - ASU sports, Easter breakfast, cowboy hats, cowboy boots, glasses and lots and lots of newspapers. He was and still is such a good man. My heart ached to find out that after being in the hospital for 7 weeks and countless complications, he passed away at the age of 66.

Uncle Brent, March 2008
Let me tell you a little bit about Uncle Brent. He was my Dad's closest brother. Brent and Phil (my Dad) were the two youngest children of Joseph and Elda Brown. They reminded me of two peas in a pod. We were lucky enough to live a few miles away from Uncle Brent and Aunt Marilyn and their 6 children. His youngest 3 daughters -Angela, Mandy and Bethany - are some of my closest cousins. It would be safe to say I practically lived at their home and I probably spent days of my life begging my mother to let me play with Mandy.

One of my favorite memories of Uncle Brent was when I was a freshman in college. He had taken a sabbatical to research for a book and had moved to D.C. for a year with Aunt Marilyn, Mandy and Bethany. I went to visit him with a few of my sisters. One night we were up late and by we, I mean - Mandy, Bethany, Misha and Nikki, all of the older people were asleep. At the time, we were in a very young and immature stage where we would make fun of wedding invitations. Okay - that hasn't stopped but at the time there was a particular invitation that had arrived at my parents house. I hadn't recognized the name but I had found the layout and pictures to be humorous. As I was describing the invitation, Mandy disappeared into the kitchen and returned with the very invitation I was describing!!!!! At this point we start screaming and laughing hysterically. At 2 o'clock in the morning. In a townhouse full of sleeping people.

That's when we heard the footsteps. They were the heavy footsteps of a Dad who had been pulled from sleep by a room full of giggling girls. We heard him coming down the stairs and I seriously fought the urge to run and hide like a 6 year old. WE WERE SO BUSTED. Uncle Brent appeared in a robe with his hair crazy messed up and his glasses on crooked. On another person it would have looked silly but Uncle Brent was not a person who looked foolish. He didn't have to holler to get his point across that we were being loud. He just reminded us that we were being loud and to quiet down. I can't remember what he said but it might be something my Dad often said, "What's the matter with you?"

Why do I love this story? Because he felt comfortable enough to discipline me like one of his kids. And because that is not the first time I was busted by Uncle Brent or my Dad. :)

I love him and his sweet family. I am grateful to have known him. I am grateful my husband had the chance to meet him and I am grateful he is no longer in pain. I am sure he is having a grand ole time with Grandma and Grandpa Brown and my Mom and I can't wait to see him again.

Brown Boys - my Dad, brother Johnny, cousin Morgan and Uncle Brent

2 comments:

Angela Baird said...

Nikki, we are so sad for your loss...he sounds like he was an incredible man! Thanks again for such a fun weekend, and good luck figuring out the details of this week! PS, how did we miss the story about Darren and Steven switching places on Mother's Day?! We've got to hear that one!

Ryan & Bethany said...

Thank you Nikki for such a great story. I love to hear any memories of my father, as I am sure you understand. The story was a typical one and it brought a smile to my face.