Memories of Doug Dill




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Most of my memories with uncle Doug are split into two different time frames, when I was in elementary school and now during my adult life. All of the times I got to spend with uncle Doug also included aunt Sheila.

When I was much younger, it seemed like we, meaning my parents and siblings, would always have some sort of family get together with them. Mostly, I remember visiting uncle Doug and aunt Sheila at their home in Eugene, Oregon. To me that home was this magical place, where deer would go walking through their yard and where we could walk down a dirt road and pick blackberries to be used later in homemade ice cream.

I also remember sometimes we would meet up with uncle Doug and aunt Sheila to go camping where uncle Doug knew all the best places to go fishing. I remember I felt so special when he taught me how to bait and cast a fishing line.

Now fast forward to 2015 my sister Mindy and I had been caring for my mom, uncle Doug's little sister, who at the time was in mid to late-stages of Alzheimer's disease. That summer while in the process of going through papers my parents had saved and collected over the years, my sister Mindy came across a letter from uncle Doug. It was his letter announcing his and aunt Sheila's retirement. Mindy read it to Rigo and then they shared it with Luke and I. To say the least it was a really great letter and it really sparked something in all of us, in realizing how precious the time we have left with our mom and dad is so important and our moms disease was aging her so quickly we felt this powerful importance of needing to make the most of our time with our moms only brother, uncle Doug and our aunt Sheila. We all decided, my sister and their family with their two girls and my husband and I must make a trip to go visit uncle Doug and aunt Sheila.

The first trip of three began in 2016 where we would all go together and take a road trip to their home in Gardnerville. In the ways that uncle Doug and aunt Sheila were together and so welcoming sharing good food and good discussion, although being much older, it was like no time had passed from when I remember visiting them in their Eugene home. Being older has given me so much more appreciation of the special gift of time with uncle Doug and aunt Sheila. I feel at a loss for words for how special uncle Doug and aunt Sheila make us all feel so loved, then to increase that with being able to see them creating special memories with my two younger nieces Mindy and Rigo's girls, Leila and Carmela. They took the time to teach them making stain glass art and getting to cook with aunt Sheila, which is always the most delicious food and always ending the trip with the best strawberry waffle breakfast before we hit the road back to Portland.

Uncle Doug and aunt Sheila have had such a positive impact in my life. It is so special and heartwarming to get to see my young nieces making memories like I did when I was their age! I am so thankful my sister came across that retirement letter of uncle Doug's and that we were able to spend those last three summers with him and aunt Sheila together at their home in Gardnerville.

This year we had already booked our annual Gardnerville road trip to visit them when the sad news came that Uncle Doug had suffered a stroke and was not doing well. Uncle Doug passed no more than a week later after our learning of his stroke. With our trip booked were thankful that we were able to keep this tradition with our wonderful loving aunt Sheila. As we look forward in life but also make the most of the moment we are in I know we are so blessed to be able to visit and keep the tradition with our aunt Sheila.

By Melanee

Marc Elliot Hall Henderson, Nevada 

Page created: 18 July, 2019
Page modified: 14 January, 2023

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