The Man Who Taught Me the Beauty of Simplicity

Three weeks ago a dear family friend, Tony Tuck, passed from this world into glory. You never truly understand the impact of someone’s life until they have departed from this life. As I sat there pondering his story, I realized that he was the man who taught me the beauty and value of simplicity. He was the grandfather I never had.

He lived a quiet life. Just him and his lovely wife. He lived next door to our family for as long as I could remember. I was born and raised on the property that we shared a life together with several other families. Tony was a quiet fellow. He treasured the glories of nature around him. He loved growing beautiful flowers and vegetables and designing amazing creative artistic displays with various pieces of creation and reusing old tattered pieces of life. He built am amazing bridge across the creek that ran below our house out of a huge log and rope. He designed a prayer cabin out in the back woods for quiet times and solitude. He was quiet, and yet he invested in the lives of others every moment of his life. One by one he touched many lives. He never wanted to be the leader, but rather the servant of all.  The slew of kids that grew up on the property experienced his grandfatherly nature.

He would bring us all together for various work projects around the property and after it was complete, he would load us all up in the back of his covered pick up truck and drive us down to dollars corner for malt milkshakes on his treat. It was such a special time. We loved Tony. We loved reading his collection of Tintin comic books. We loved his amazing “darn good noodles” and every other concoction he created. We love his homemade stone pizza oven and the scrumptious homemade pizzas we created there. But most of all, we loved Tony because he cared. He cared for us. He valued spending time with kids. They were his friends.

He didn’t have much, or at least he didn’t flaunt it. His house was simple. Clean. Comfortable. His life was far from hectic. I would watch him and his wife ride bikes around or simply stroll around the property all the time. And yet he taught me the importance of being uniquely present for each one. His presence conveyed comfort, peace, and contentment. He brought beauty into every area of life. He knew that there was more to be heard in silence than in a loud multitude. Tony and his wife welcomed all into their home.

They built a community in our neighborhood of healing and rest. I never saw them stressed, frustrated, or complaining. He loved just being out in nature and cherishing the small beauties.

As I look back, I see this man as a glorious example of simplicity. Life is too precious to rush through in the fast lane. Life is too short to overlook the beauty of creation that we are called to steward and care for. Where is the value in doing so many things and missing out on all these simple beauties? To love and touch one life at a time. That is my desire. To be fully present with each life bestowed into my care. To welcome young and old into our home to enjoy the bounty that God has blessed us with. This is what Tony taught me. And that was beautiful.

Thank you Tony for cherishing the little things. Thank you for being our Grandpa that we didn’t have. Thank you for creating beauty out of the discarded. Thank you for loving each person who entered your life without thought of what you might receive in return. Thank you for giving generously in every area of your life. Your treasure must be great in heaven with you now.

Only one life…

twill soon be past…

Only what’s done

for Christ will last.

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

21 Responses to The Man Who Taught Me the Beauty of Simplicity

  1. kelly j. March 5, 2012 at 4:14 am #

    Absolutely touching, you put into words your beautifully memories :)

  2. Mandy March 4, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    I hope similar words may be said of me one day. I am glad that such men still exist in this world & that you knew him.

  3. Clara March 3, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

    What beautiful words to say about your friend…may his soul be with our heavenly father.

  4. Kelsey K. Anderson March 3, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

    Beautiful tribute. “To be fully present with each life…” great reminder.

  5. Jenny March 3, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    so lovely, thank you for this. I have been reading Richard Foster’s Celebration of the Disciplines. Have you read this? I think you would absolutely love it. Simplicity is one of the spiritual disciplines that Foster writes about. I think this beautiful man lived out this calling wonderfully.

  6. Danielle March 3, 2012 at 7:53 am #

    This post brought tears to my eyes! What a wonderful tribute to a seemingly unforgettable man.

    This is a good reminder to slow down and enjoy all that we have…simplicity really is best. Thank you!

  7. susanna March 3, 2012 at 7:25 am #

    wow!! i’ve been following your blog for several months and i know Tony!! my sister joanna used to live with them for a season 8-9 years ago….my husband and i came out for thanksgiving one year. we stayed with Tony and Jane. we were blessed by there awesome hospitality and simple grace on life. we love the property you live on. you are truly blessed.
    thankyou for sharing your tribute. it definitely resinates in my heart. thankyou for sharing.

    • Lindsay March 3, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

      Wow! I know your sister Joanna…I spent time with her at a Forward Edge retreat and met her on several occasions when she lived with them. It’s a small world.

  8. Becky @ Sowing Little Seeds March 3, 2012 at 2:16 am #

    What a beautiful tribute.

  9. Rebecca March 2, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    Sounds like the kind of neighbor I want to be and would love to have. <3

  10. Angela March 2, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

    Thank you for a good reminder. He sounded like a wonderful guy.

  11. Mary March 2, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

    We should all aspire to live as your friend, Tony lived. The bridge he built is an awesome reminder of the gift GOD provided which HE allowed his only son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for the sins of the world. He became the bridge by which all unbelievers’ can have eternal life. You are so right, only what is done for Christ has eternal value.

  12. Trooppetrie March 2, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    I am new to your blog and just wanted to say hi and let you know I have really enjoyed looking around tonight. my husband is in Afghanistan right now too

  13. Caitlin March 2, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

    Thank you for this post Lindsay- it was a wonderful, much needed reminder of what is far more important- rather than the silly things I tend to worry over, wasting time on. I am sorry for the loss of your friend- but what comfort in knowing that his life was well lived and he is resting in the arms of his Savior.

  14. Krista March 2, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

    Thanks for sharing his beautiful story.

  15. Shannon March 2, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    Beautiful post. Sorry for the loss of your friend.

  16. Linda March 2, 2012 at 11:12 am #

    Makes one think how are we living and how we are effecting others. Only what done for Christ will last, Thank You Jesus for laying down your life for us let us lay down our lives for others..

  17. Rebekah March 2, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    interesting to read about the impact people have on other’s lives…
    the bridge Tony built looks neat, and it reminds me of a bridge my dad had the initiative to build along with us and our cousins one time over a rushing creek in the mountains while we were on vacation one year. It took a lot of work and sweat, but the satisfaction of teamwork and the memories built are forever. Even my cousins still remember that time.

  18. Kim March 2, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    Thanks that was beautiful!

  19. Angie March 2, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    This is a beautiful and inspiring post. Thank you for sharing.

  20. deezahoney March 2, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    Beautiful tribute, wonderful reminder of what life – and the people in it – mean.