Sunday Post 83: A Really Good Uncle

Posted by Danny

Uncle Jesse moved out about a month ago.  He has been working his full-time job and starting a sports video production business on the side.  Both of his offices are across town.  We haven’t seen much of him since February.  He says his move is an attempt to be closer to where he spends 95% of his life.  I’m taking him at face value hoping his exit isn’t due to a big brother watching over his shoulder and three girls who idolize him and watch his every move.  The man has been a trooper.

His new business has him editing video into the wee hours of the night.  Five out of seven nights a week he’d come home after we’d gone to bed, and we’d be out of the house before he stirred.  We’ve actually seen him more since he left – making it a point to plan dinner a couple of times each week, catching movies and listening to his advice on what we should do to make our lives better (buy a pig, move DJ to the basement apartment, move the laundry room upstairs, etc.)  It’s just like when he lived here but even more! 

We’re still The Real Full House.  Jesse isn’t going far.  He’s still the first one I text when Michelle says something funny; he’s still the first one I call when I need an in town kid sitter; he still rolls in to razz the kids throughout the week.

Sometimes God puts people in your life at just the right time. He did that for me when Jesse agreed to move in with us in January 2010.

Jesse has more friends than Cher has hair follicles.  Everybody in town knows him – young and old, married and single, Democrat and Republican.  He’s just that kind of guy.  That is why it meant so much for him to put his life on pause for us.

I’m not sure what the future holds for him. He may continue to develop his career in sportscasting. Or maybe his production business will become the next ESPN. Perhaps he’ll get married and have kids.  If his love for my children is any indicator, he’d be a really great dad.

But regardless of what his future holds, he has already accomplished one of the most important things that one could do on earth.  You see, Jesse saved my life.  He saved my family too.

He came in to our house at our darkest hour and helped us find laughter. He danced and joked and tickled when I didn’t have it in me. He brought the music back when our most beautiful voice was silenced by cancer. 

More than that, he was my closest confidant – sitting across from me in my den late at night as I searched to find pieces of a life that was shattered.

Yea – he’s done his work. He has helped make us whole again.

I have  really grown to love Jesse; he’s more like a brother than a brother-in-law.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to repay him.  But I will try; yes I will try.

Because he hasn’t been around much, I thought the transition would be easy. But there was just something about having his junk in the basement.  When I first walked into the house the day after he moved, two things hit me.

Wow, I’m really alone now.  I really wasn’t more alone than I had been the day before.  He hadn’t been home on a weeknight in months.  But on that Monday night, his absence was glaring.  It is interesting how stuff can be a whole lot of company.

My second thought was that another little piece of Lisa was gone. They were alike in so many ways.

And yet he’s not gone.  You will still hear Jesse stories.  He dropped by last night and wiped his sweaty basketball head on Michelle – sort of a special Welcome Home from summer camp.  We’re eating dinner together tomorrow night and went to see the new Batman movie last week when all of the girls were out of town (he slept through most of it).  We’ve had some good conversations lately about his importance in our lives – I think he’s all in for the long haul.

He has developed a really special and yet different relationship with each of the girls.  I suspect when asked by the minister at their weddings, “Who gives this woman to be married?”,  I’ll reply, “Uncle Jesse and I.”  Maybe he can just wear DJ’s Winter Formal dress.

I owe that man a lot. I thank God for Jesse and for the love and joy he has brought, and will continue to bring, to our family.

Leave a comment


  1. Wanda Easley

     /  August 5, 2012

    What a beautiful tribute to Uncle “Jesse”!

  2. Melanie Walker

     /  August 5, 2012

    When he moved in that January, I had recently finished studying the book of Esther and immediately realized that this was “Jesse’s” Esther moment, that perhaps he was created/made uncle/single and searching for his path in life for a time such as that (pardon the paraphrase). He will continue to be a huge part of all of your lives, but I agree that he has probably played the most important role of his life.

  3. Aunt Susan

     /  August 5, 2012


  4. stop making me cry! 😉 xo to all my Hams!

  5. George DeLoache

     /  August 6, 2012

    Always been proud of Hayes….but i’ve never been more proud.

  6. Evie Lichti

     /  August 6, 2012

    Never met the man but would love to sometime . . .heard him a few times on the radio. Time heals a lot of wounds. And you’re A GREAT DAD, ‘Charlie Brown’!

  7. Amy

     /  August 6, 2012

    What a beautifully written tribute to an awesome brother (in law). I knew he had a gift when I was his middle school youth advisor at FPC many, many years ago. Way to go Hayes — there is joy in the journey when God puts someone right where He needs them to be. Keep up the writing, Bruce.

  8. momtravels

     /  August 6, 2012

    What a wonderful tribute, as someone else commented before me. And you are so right – God DOES indeed bring the right people into our lives when we need them the most. Way to go, Uncle Jesse! I hope you receive wonderful blessings from all that you have done for this family. 🙂

  9. CHall

     /  September 8, 2012

    If I were single and about 35 years younger, I’d go after Jesse. He sounds like the real deal. When he’s as old as I am, he’s probably going to look back at this time in his life and realize that his presence in your home during a dark time was his finest hour. I’m not a mom, have never walked in your shoes, just want to say that I enjoy this blog so much, sometimes laughing until my eyes water…and then I remember why you’ve got this blog in the first place and that sobers me up. Best to you and your young ladies.

  10. Uncle Jesse directed me to this blog a while ago, and I read your updates regularly. I recently just started from the beginning, and your family has inspired me to get back to my own healing. So another chalk mark on the scoreboard for Uncle Jesse and the whole Tanner family. What you’re doing makes a big difference — for more people than you may ever know.

    Keep on keepin’ on.

    • Danny Tanner

       /  July 17, 2013

      Healing is hard. It is up, and it is down. Keep on.


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