Tribute to an uncle and lessons to live a better life…

Live, laugh, love, are three words we hear often, as we seek to remind each other of the frailty of life and the need to live it to the fullest. The journey along this pathway of life leads us to many turns, and hills; it is filled with laughter and tears, and at times the sense or wanting to give up. However throughout life we are blessed to encounter people who make our journey a little less daunting. Some people we meet along the way and become friends, others walk into our path for a moment, and then they leave forever. Then there are those people that walk with us every step of the way, they are what we call family. Our family is a gift, unlike friends, they are not people we chose, they are people we grow to depend on, people we grow to share our roadway of life with, people who will be there for us when the world seems to disappear. Our experiences with these souls are what create memories, and it is our memories that allow us to relive each moment in life for as long as we desire. Our memories bring back laughter, our memories bring back moments we seek to capture, moments that remind us that each day is indeed a blessing.

As we gather here today we all share something in common. We each had the opportunity to encounter a man on our journey who added a basket full of memories for us to cherish, his name, Robert Lyon, or Uncle Robert as I affectionately called him. Uncle Robert gave me memories that I will cherish forever. I invite you to come with me on a journey of rediscovery, and in so doing to recall some of your own experiences with this great man.

Let’s remember…..remember together. …

He dedicated himself to his craft. At just 15 years of age he left Murry St. Ann, his place of birth in search of better opportunities. His dedication to irk and servitude led to him quickly rising through the ranks and served as manager of the laundry division at the Wyndam Montego Bay hotel, now known as the Hilton. Today, 6 years after his retirement, many people still regard him as their guiding voice within the profession. That my friends, is leadership.

Uncle Robert was a comedian, he never passed an opportunity so share a laugh and lecture you regarding something he was passionate about . It was his son Nicholas that shared with me once that his father never ventured into the deep of Jamaica’s beautiful beaches, because he was adamant that a God made man for land, and the fish for the sea. I think he made a great point!

Uncle Robert always stayed ahead with technology, in fact my most recent encounter with him, he had me sit for minutes as he played a number of songs from his cell phone, telling me about the latest Blackchiney songs, and the sounds of music Nicholas would make. After every song I would hear him say “a Nick do it yu nuh?” His children were at the center of his heart, he always ceased a moment to brag about them.

Uncle Robert was a strong and determined man. You would never get him to do anything beyond his will. In the summer of 2011 while attending his son’s wedding, some brave soul decided that they were going to get a wheel chair for him so that he would not have to strain standing for too long. I remember seeing Uncle Robert enter the room, seeing the wheel chair, and politely asked “a who fa own dat?” Hardly anyone wanted to answer, until someone softly said “we got it just in case you wanted to rest your feet a bit.” Uncle Robert relented. he refused to sit in the wheel chair arguing that he was not incapable of walking. Consequently, not many people were aware of his heart condition, as he sought to keep it private, not wishing to garner sympathy for his situation. He was courageous.

A memory that I will never forget is the unity that Uncle Robert had with his family, especially has brothers. The Lyon men are known to do their own things. Get them in the same room together for 15 minutes and they would find some unnecessary task to work one, or something on a car that needs fixing. They always had to be doing something. To this day I smile at the opportunity to see him with all his brothers and sisters, except one, on the day the 12 tribes of the Lyon of Judah, said farewell to their mother, my grandma. As we posed to take pictures I remember not seeing one of the brothers present, and Uncle Robert had the fastest solution, take the picture, and lets photoshop him in!

The memories I have could go on forever, but most importantly this moment gives us a chance to reflect on what uncle Robert cherished the most. He loved his family, and there was never a question about it. In this life, we should always learn to cherish each other. We get so busy sometimes living our lives for ourselves that we forget that there are others around us. Like any family we argue, and fight, and sometimes we forget to take a moment to forgive. The time we spend fighting is time that we lose to enjoy our brief moment here on earth.

Argue if you must, but say sorry later. In this life there should be no room for animosity, we must love and love unconditionally. Uncle Robert danced, he danced in a way that only he could whenever he heard a good song. Lets learn from him, let us dance too. Dance and forget the hurt, dance and remember that although we may have wronged each other, our love for each other is the strongest bond. Those are the moments we ought to cherish. The love, the joy, the laughter, and the days when we realize that without each other, we are incomplete. I salute you Uncle Robert, your memories will never be forgotten. You have left an indelible mark on history, your work, your character, is the legacy you have left behind. Laugh, sing and dance with the angles, you are free.

© Dimitri Lyon and, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dimitri Lyon and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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