It has been a whirlwind of a week, as our family has recently dealt with the unexpected death of a dear man. My uncle…my dad’s little brother…died of a heart attack on his way to work just six days ago. So the past 144 hours have been a time of reflection and reconnection and so much more. You see, this uncle played a significant role in my life and so many others. He was a good man…a family man, a man of his word, a craftsman, a Vietnam vet…a man that adored his wife and daughter and little grandbaby girl.
He was the one that invited me to join his family in sunny Arizona for three months when I was just a seventeen-year-old Midwest girl. He was the one that believed in me and pushed me to make dreams for my life. When I interviewed for a job in California, he flew over ahead of time and scouted out the area. He sat my new husband and me down early in marriage and showed us how to manage our finances. He sent emails and called often and sent detailed itineraries (complete with mimosas on the patio and lighted luminaries to guide our path) prior to our visits. We shared a love for great food in quirky little locations.
He was a good man and he will be greatly missed. My heart breaks for his wife, who was his best friend…and for his daughter who longed for his advice and incredible support…and for his dear sweet grandbaby that will only remember him from cuddles and gazes and memories from pics.
We shared stories with the people in his life..we reconnected with family members…we gave each other advice.
As with any loss, I pause to find my “take aways.” My sis and I have shared many of the past 144 hours chatting and reflecting and finding words to express the feelings and thoughts that are running through our hearts. Here are my take aways…
- Make the most of every moment. I will embrace the life I have been given.
- Share the love. I will not be afraid to say the words. I will not wait for another day. I will hug and cuddle and reach out to others.
- Live with no regrets. If I desire to do something…I will find a way to make it happen.
- Be healthy, wealthy and wise. I will take the time to care for my well being–eating right and exercising. I will work to live, not live to work. I will read and observe and challenge my mind to know things.
- Find contentment. I will value the little things in life. I will trust in the truth that one day I am heading for heaven.