My day started out like any other day at work. While waiting for my laptop to boot up I logged into the phone system to retrieve my voice mails. But, unlike any other day, I hear my cousin Terry’s voice…”Lee Daddy is Gone”. My body went numb and then I become keenly aware I can’t breathe!!!
On Monday, I received a call from one of our emergency room nurses. She left a message saying I had a family member in the ED who was asking for me. So, when I received the message, I immediately went down stairs to discover my Uncle Jack was in the emergency room. Despite his confusion due to low oxygen saturation, he immediately recognized me and began to converse with me. In the course of our conversation he told me he loved me and was very proud of me. He also told me , “I want to go home”. I immediately made the physician aware of Uncle Jack’s request and after the physician spoke with Uncle Jack and Aunt Sue he agreed to allow my Uncle Jack to return home on Hospice.
OMGosh…now he is gone!!! On January 23, 2013 at approximately 7:30 am. He was surrounded by his loved ones when he peacefully left this world and ran to loving arms of His Heavenly Father.
Jack Kimbrough was a kind, compassionate, loving and well-respected man in the community which he served. He carried on his father’s legacy by becoming a registered pharmacist and he ran both of our family drug stores in Clute. K&S Pharmacy was on Hwy 288 in the building that is now the Koloche Shoppe and Kim’s Sundries which was on Main Street in Clute next to the post office.
Uncle Jack never met a stranger in-fact he made everyone who entered his drug stores feel welcome. He loved his community and the people in it. And… everyone loved him. He would meet people after hours to ensure they were able to obtain the medicines they needed and I always was amazed at the different forms of payment he accepted…Cash, eggs, chickens, fresh loaves of homemade bread…whatever his customer was able to pay him with.
My Uncle Jack spoiled me rotten!!! I was the first-born child of his brother Dale Kimbrough and for as long as I can remember, I have been so proud of my Uncle Jack. Even as a little girl, I was so incredibly proud to introduce him as MY Uncle Jack!
At age 5, I would walk from our home to the drug store (about a block away) and on the days He was at the store on Main Street he would greet me at the door of the store and carry me to the corner, walk me across the street so I could continue on my way to kindergarten. Yep, you guessed it…Absolute highlight of my day!!!
While most of his time was spent behind the counter compounding drugs and filling prescriptions there were occasions when he would break away from the stores to spend quality time with his family and loved ones. Even though he had two children of his own he would make time for me. I remember, how excited I was when he invited me to ride with him to “Old Man Frederick’s” to see all the exotic animals raised there. Uncle Jack loved wild animals and exotic animals… That ol’ man had everything! Lions, Tigers and Bears…Oh My!!!
Uncle Jack loved to hunt. He and Daddy would take my cousins and me dove hunting in the valley where we made some really awesome memories together…Of course Leslie, he would pick on me the whole trip and Uncle Jack would say, “he only picks on you because he loves you so much”. Terry Uncle Jack’s daughter was older than me so she became my role model. She was sweet spirited, soft-spoken and very kind to me. I loved my time with them all…We were in those cotton fields hunting for hours making incredible memories without phones, ipads, or laptops…those were the good ol’ days!!!
My Uncle Jack was a wise man too. I spent my entire time in elementary, Jr. High, and High School learning as much as I could because, I was going to be a pharmacist like my Pawpaw Kim and Uncle Jack. Then I took chemistry in my last year of high school! I remember sitting down with Uncle Jack saying, “Uncle Jack, can you please explain the periodic table to me? I just don’t get it.” He would say, “Lee, you’re not suppose to get it. Just memorize it and move on.” While I didn’t get the periodic table, Uncle Jack got me! He said, “Lee, I know you want to carry on the family legacy but you were made to be a nurse. A nurse needs to know why. A nurse gets to ask those questions…you were meant to be a nurse like your Nonnie and Aunt Lillie”. Because Uncle Jack got me, I am now a registered nurse.
My Uncle Jack loved nature! He loved to hunt, fish, garden, and I heard he loved to skinny dip in his pond (Shhhh). As I mentioned he loved wild animals so much so he has not one but two 140 pound Timber Wolves and he has spoiled them rotten!!! Even as sick as he was, he would say, “I gotta get home to my babies”. He loved those beautiful creatures!
As a child I would sit on the counter and “help” Uncle Jack count pills and eat ice cream cones with him on the front steps of the store. As an adult I would sit with him and talk about his garden, fruit trees and wolves. We would discuss religion and philosophy. He would tell me stories about our family and provide history lessons. But, every discussion would lead to my Uncle Jack’s favorite topic…His Family. He loved us all so much and never wasted a chance to tell us! He would always tell me how proud of me he was. He would go on and on about how proud he was of Terry and Leslie, how much he loved Andi and Daniel and how Aunt Sue’s children were his children. Then he would move on to all the grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. He loved my Dad so much and would tell me stories over and over of the fun they would have. He admired his mother and had so much respect for his Dad. But of all his loves…he adored my Aunt Sue!!! His eyes would light up when she walked into the room and would melt when she spoke.
My Uncle Jack was a loving and respectful man. Just before leaving the emergency room on Monday, Uncle Jack shook hands with the physician and thanked everyone for the care he received by saying, “I thank you and my God thanks you”…