Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Uncles/Aunts (04/17/08)
TITLE: Memories of a King
By c clemons
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I was just a child when I got to know Anthony Clements. I am sure he knew me long before that. I distinctively remember his smell, always something clean and fresh probably “Old Spice.” I really do not know because I was too young to know names of fragrances. You could count on him to drive the latest model big car, with leather seats and white wall tires. When he arrived on the scene everyone was glad to see him. He always brought a sense of joy with him. His wit was warm, infectious and made any family gathering fun.
Anthony Clements had many names; there was his given name Anthony and he also went by Ned, Ben and King Ben. I knew him as Uncle Ned my father’s older brother. As far as I know Ned was not his middle name. I was told he was called that as a child and it stayed with him. Of course I inquired of my father about how Uncle Ned got the name King Ben. The story was, in his younger days Uncle Ned was quite the card player. When it came to winning a poker hand he could always be counted on to have a pair kings. The nickname stuck, so much so that after his passing, the newspaper obituary read “Anthony ‘King Ben’ Clements”. That was for the benefit of those friends that never knew his real name.
What I remember most about my uncle is that he loved me. Being the youngest of five sometimes can work for you or against you. If you are the last child, the baby, you might be spoiled. Or because there are so many others you might get lost in the crowd. I was the latter. But thanks to Uncle Ned he treated me like a princess. He would pick me up and twirl me around and say, “How’s my girl doing?” If that were not enough he always had a special treat just for me. I remember candy or a toy but more importantly just the attention. I spent hours at his house when I was a teenager, reading and just ‘being’. Although he was raising one daughter of his own he didn’t seem to mind the intrusion.
Years later when I moved away to another state, I would occasionally come home to visit. When Uncle Ned would hear that I was in town he would come by to see me. My mother once told me that they hardly saw him until I came home. I still enjoyed just sitting and talking with him about everything and nothing at all. I will agree with the statement “it takes a village to raise a child.” But I think what’s more important is it takes a whole family to pour into a child. It helps so that each child can get what he or she needs to be a complete functioning soul on this earth.
At the end of his life Uncle Ned was a happy man. Thanks to a diligent cousin who visited him before he made his transition and shared with him the gift of salvation. Uncle Ned accepted Christ into his heart. He had been in church all his life but never understood the true meaning of salvation until that day. He kept saying, “Is that all? I’m saved? Really? It’s that simple? Glory be to God!” He was so happy, because all his life he never thought he was good enough or had done enough to be worthy of salvation.
I have no doubt that my Uncle Ned is in heaven right now. Where everything is done in an impeccable fashion. I also believe he had no problem relinquishing his title to the one and only King.
*Stacy Adams – A very popular men’s dress shoe
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