Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

July 13, 2013

RAY DAY: My second family

Kokomo Tribune

---- — One of my readers asked why I don’t write about the in-laws I have. I will tell you that I have written about them, but not too many times since they came on the scene after I met my wife Ramona.

So let’s journey back in time to those days when this fellow met one of the most dazzling young ladies of all time.

When I first saw her, she was a blue-eyed beauty with short hair, wearing a full skirt, sweater and a little scarf around her neck. She was tall and did not have any blemishes to speak of.

I decided right then I would like to meet her. So one of my good friends introduced me to her.

I did not see her for two weeks.

Then one day while in town, I thought I would call her up and see if she would like to go on a date. Little did I know that question would lead to a future with Ramona for the rest of my life.

So that Saturday evening, I drove up to her home in my 1946 Dodge, went to the door and the first person I saw was a pretty lady named “Mom Sarah.” She invited me in and then told Ramona her new friend was here.

I met her sister, Mary Kay, her two brothers, Fred and Steve, and then I thought to myself, where is her dad? I was told he was off working in his heating and plumbing business and probably would be late getting home, so I could meet him then. I saw pictures of her brother, Tim, who signed up for the Navy. I would probably not meet him for several months, if I was around that long.

The next week I met Pop McKee. Here was a tall, thin man who was strong as an ox. He had a beer in one hand and the other one stretched out to greet me. Nice guy, I thought at this first meeting. He showed me his collection of guns and said he used each of them for different purposes.

Here is where I was thinking maybe I should back up a little, so I would have the room to turn around and run out the door.

But then he asked me if I drank beer. I said no. He asked me what education I had. I told him I was maybe going to be a lawyer, if I got good grades and the money to get it done.

It looked like I might have escaped the first meeting unharmed, but this little visit was the start of a good family friendship that eventually turned out to be my second family.

After that week, I called Ramona and asked if I could see her again. She said yes, and that was the beginning of a life together full of good happenings, like the births of Deborah and Patricia. There were good times mostly, but every once in awhile we had sickness and honored our vows to take care and love one another through sickness or health, riches or poor, till death do us part.

Through the years I met the families of both Mom Sarah and Pop McKee. Mom was from the Budd family, and I was accepted by all and always treated like family by Tom, Don, Mary Lou, Wanita and Grandmother Budd. Pop came from the McKee and Good families, and they all also took me right in.

Through the years, I remained a member of those two groups, and I was truly blessed knowing I had a second family all because a friend introduced me to that tall, thin, blue-eyed girl named Ramona. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been wonderful and I am happy about it.

Families are important, and just belonging to Ramona’s gives me grace. I miss them very much.

Ray “Uncle Ray” Day is a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at uncleray@earthlink.net.