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What A Way To Go

November 15, 2016

A friend mentioned what a great way of keeping a journal this blog must be. I kind of laughed. As many of you know, I often change certain details of the stories to avoid telling other people’s stories. Someone culling through these scribblings and trying to reconstruct my life or career would be hard pressed to identify all of the various characters I talk about. 

Occasionally, I use someone’s real name. Today is one of those days. 

I started this blog years ago to share business lessons that I’ve learned. And while I do still use it for that, I’ve found myself sharing more and more personal stories as well. (In case you didn’t realize I kind of enjoy camping and fishing in Utah’s great outdoors. Not sure if that came through in the dozens of blog entries I’ve written on hiking and camping.) 

This week will some of that. Not camping, but personal stories.

My uncle died last week. I might write about him over the next few days. I’ve been asked to speak at his funeral on Friday. I’m now trying to comb through 50 years of my memories and 74 years of his life to find ten minutes or so that will give people a feel for who he was. 

His name was Ted Graff, although I always called him Uncle Tandy. He was 74 years old and he died in the most impressive fashion I can think of. He went for a ride on his Harley and never came back. 

The first image that comes to mind is of a terrible crash and that was my first thought too. But, he actually died of a heart attack. He’d had several over the years and it was not a surprise that is the way he eventually went. He must have felt it coming on because he managed to get his bike to the side of the road. The bike fell over and he was attempting to pick it back up. The highway patrol found him slumped over his bike. 

He was more than my uncle. He was my friend. As adults, the 23 year age difference wasn’t as dramatic as it was when I was a kid when I met him and he was already “old,” easily in his 20’s or maybe even 30’s. 

He had a full life and I like to think he died happy. I miss him. But, when it’s my time to go, I hope, like him, I can live to the very last moment of my life doing something I love. 

If family and friends reading this are interested, his funeral is on Friday November 18 starting at 9:00am in Coeur d’Alene, ID. The burial is Saturday at noon in Tekoa, WA. 

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2016 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

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