Sunday, August 21, 2011

Live your life!

Milton Ray Winebrenner, age 74, died August 7, 2011 in Houston, Texas.

Uncle Milton was the oldest of three children, the youngest being my mother.  He had been married 54 years (think about that for a minute), had no children and led a very amazing life.  As I have mentioned in the past, I lost my dad when I was 14.  Uncle Milton was the “rich uncle” who was always there during thick and thin.  I never knew what his income level was, but he lived in the big city up the street (Houston) and always had some cool gifts at Christmas.  Looking back at his life, his pictures, his memories, I tend to see how my life evolved.  

Uncle Milton was involved in management consulting, Toastmasters, and civic duty.  He was a member of the Army at one point in his life.  He loved cats (his four ‘children’ will miss him dearly).  He was always right on the cutting edge of technology (he gave me my first computer at Christmas, 1982 - all hail the Texas Instrument 99/4A!).  He always treated the family to holiday meals at the local country club before opening up his home and heart to us at the big house in Houston.  On my last trip home, we met up and pizza was the order of the day.  He was still going strong, heavily involved as the president of his neighborhood civic organization, still making a difference in this world, when he passed.  

Uncle Milton had fun in his life.  He took life seriously, but did not take life too seriously.  He will be missed.  Although he has departed, he lives on in all the people he influenced.  That includes me.  The lessons he left behind will not be forgotten.  Stay true to your community, to your family and to yourself.  Pursue your passion with perseverance, but do not forget to stop, look around, and have some fun along the way.  Stay devoted to your soul mate.  Play.  Never forget those who have less than you do.  Do not judge, but treat them with compassion. 

The world will miss you, Uncle Milton.