Thursday, May 6, 2010


My uncle, Rick Sartain, died yesterday afternoon.  It was quite sudden.  He showed no sign of heart problems, but while working at my grandparents' house on a little backyard garden, he went inside to escape the heat and had a massive heart attack.  His wife Gail, a nurse for as long as I can remember, administered CPR.  It didn't help; Rick was gone.

My thoughts are very disorganized right now.  I want to share what a great guy he was, but moments and memories keep jostling in my head, trying to get out first.  I'll try to get some of the better ones out and hope you forgive if the order seems awkward.

Rick and Gail weren't always my favorite aunt and uncle, but they grew on me a lot as I got older.  Rick was a tall man with a booming voice and a heavy Southern accent, and hair that I never remember as being BLACK, but always salt & pepper.  He and Gail were peas in a pod: southern hippies, smokers, jokers.  Rick was very laid-back.  He loved a good laugh and loved to hear others laugh, too, even if he'd smile & ask "What're you cacklin' at".  Rick always wanted me, his girls, and my other cousins to think before acting.  I think it pained him a bit to watch us be so DUMB in the way that kids are, and I certainly understand now that I'm a parent.  He was one of the first people to consistently say "Well, seems to me you've got yourself in a bit of a mess, huh, Timmy?" instead of just suggesting things would be all right.  I can hear him asking it and chuckling - his voice was distinctive and has always played easily in my mind.  He was distinctive.

I'm not sure what else to put here.  He was a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I already miss him so much.  Rick is survived by his wife, Gail, and his daughters, Kristin and Katie.  Please keep them in your thoughts during this sudden, unexpected time of loss.

I love you, Uncle Rick.  
Uncle Rick

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