Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Uncle Jiggs

Me getting a life lesson from my Uncle Jiggs
It's been a pretty sad week around our house.  My Uncle Jiggs passed away suddenly last Thursday, after a very successful surgery.  We are all devastated and have gone through all the emotions -- shock, sadness, anger, sadness again.  We're not entirely sure things went the way they were supposed to at the hospital following his surgery and we have lots of questions about his care (and lack thereof).  None of that will bring him back, of course, but still, we wonder and we question and we cry anyway.  He was a good man, my mama's oldest brother.  He was very honest about his feelings (sometimes too honest!), he was funny, he was loving in his own way and when he loved you, you knew it.  I knew he loved me.  He was so proud of me when I went back to school to learn something completely different from anything I've ever known and then when I got a job turning wrenches on F-15's, he was so tickled.  I have a lifetime of memories of Uncle Jiggs and I will cherish each one.  I remember him coming out many icy mornings to help my daddy get our country well going again.  Uncle Jiggs was always there when you needed him.  He would give you his last dollar if you needed it.  He was also very blunt; "curt" the pastor who preached his funeral Sunday afternoon called it.  Curt.  Yeah.  That's a good word for it.  He was a man of few words, a private man, very independent and very stubborn.  I loved him dearly and I will miss him terribly.  I will never drive over the Flint River without thinking of him or walk into my mama and daddy's living room without seeing him sitting in that chair.  He was one of a kind. 

An old friend posted this picture of him on Facebook from some 20 years ago, laughing while he tromped through muddy river water.  I absolutely love it.  I imagine he's camped out on the river bank in Heaven already.

James Lawrence Clark
February 9, 1946 - December 10, 2015


  1. Beautifully said. Thank you for sharing a bit of his life as you knew him. He has been thought of, missed, talked about and dearly loved from afar for many many years. The photograph was a shot I almost missed as I was laughing so hard.... the first and possibly only time your Uncle Jiggs fell out of a boat... a memory of 21 years ago that if I could do it all over again, I would...this time I'd be just as stubborn as he. I fought with all my might but I would have fought harder... oh, the memories and the love will indeed last forever.

  2. When you stood with Jiggs, you knew you were with a man. Not that Tarzan swinging through the vines fella, but that guy who would pull you out of the line of fire in whatever fight you found yourself in and needed help with. I noticed those working mans hands of his right away...big knuckled, calloused, scarred and hard as a field stump. That comes from a lifetime of hard-scrabble work. And that kind of work gave him a work ethic and a no-nonsense approach to life that ain't for everyone, but one everyone wishes they had the gumption to possess. You may have noticed, I liked the man. I met him nearly two years ago after 30 years of hearing about him from Ginger. Thought he must surely be ten feet tall and was mildly surprised that he seemed just a bit under nine feet. Hope to see you again big guy. If there's a well needs diggin' in Heaven, or a soul in need of a shirt, well, I know you'll be there to lend a hand or strip down to your bare chest. LARRY