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a good life

My great-uncle Wilbur Braithwaite passed away this week. There are many stories in print about him, one of which can be found here.

WIlbur was the witness at my wedding when my father and grandfather couldn’t be there. He sent me poetry and coaching advice in high school when I was running. He was one of the first people to send me a congratulatory note on my first book. He was a wonderful man with a warm laugh and a light in his eye and a space in his heart for everyone. If anyone had a good life, it was him. And this was in spite of hardship. He suffered his entire life from wounds sustained in WWII when he was 18. He had other trials. He had a good life because he made it that way.

So many people were touched by Wilbur. I know that I am just one of many who cherished his coaching and his poetry and his kindness. We want to be around goodness. We crave it. We feel better in its light. We all seek a good life, but few of us are unselfish enough to achieve it. Wilbur certainly did.

+ comments (13)
  • Sandy Shin
    April 14, 2010

    I’m very sorry about your Uncle Wilbur–my condolences and prayers are with you and your family. He sounded like a wonderful man, and I’m glad he’d had a good life.

  • Susan Auten
    April 14, 2010

    I have an uncle who is one of my favorite people. It’s amazing what an influence extended family can have on your upbringing. Thanks for sharing.

  • Sara B. Larson
    April 14, 2010

    He sounds like an amazing person. I’m sorry for your loss. I hope I can be one of the few people who succeed in living a good life. You are definitely following in his footsteps.

  • Jenni Elyse
    April 14, 2010

    I’m sorry to hear about your uncle’s passing. It sounds like he was a great person. I’m glad you had the chance to have him in your life. 🙂

  • Heather Moore
    April 14, 2010

    Sorry to hear this. The bitter-sweet.

  • Stacey
    April 14, 2010

    I’m so sorry Ally. It is very hard to say goodbye to those we hold dear. You made me tear up at the memory of those I have lost. This was a wonderful memorial to your uncle and his life. Hugs.

  • becca
    April 15, 2010

    Okay, that DesNews article was awesome. Don’t you want to write Uncle Wilbur? What an amazing story that could be.

  • Shari
    April 15, 2010

    Sorry for your loss. He sounds like an amazing person. Wish I’d have known him. I, too, think we crave the light.

  • Samantha
    April 15, 2010

    I’m sorry. People like that always leave lasting bits of them, don’t they?

  • Ali
    April 15, 2010

    Sorry about your uncle passing away. He sounds like a wonderful man.

  • ally
    April 19, 2010

    Thank you for all the comments, you guys. He was truly a remarkable man and I am just one of thousands of people who he treated with incredible kindness. It was a blessing to know him. And Becca, I wish I could write him, but I don’t know how you would ever do someone like that justice.

  • HeatherSmith
    April 20, 2010

    What a kind person. I am so glad he was a part of your life.

  • Shelli(srjohannes)
    April 23, 2010

    so sorry 🙁 sounds like a special man.

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