Good bye Uncle Bill

October 16, 2006


We called home to hear very sad news  about a beloved uncles death which happened suddenly after years
of battling Parkinson’s disease. My mom is the oldest of seven kids and he married my mother’s next oldest sister Joyce, so they had kids closest in age to us and we grew up with them. It was especially nice for me because they had wonderful girls (until a son came later) and I was in the middle of two brothers. I have fond memories of his kindness and joy, laughter and animation. I remember having sleep overs at their house as a kid and thinking what a great dad he was, and so nurturing.

I was glad to hear that he died at home and all his kids got to be with him when he passed over. I was glad to hear that my aunt Carol (who is a nurse) and Hospice helped them all thru the process. My heart wishes I could help soothe their grief.

This is the second wonderful uncle that I have lost in a short time. My mother’s dynamic brother Keith died shortly before we left (and was greatly supported by two other sisters that are also nurses). DaVinci has a terrific, loving uncle who is also very sick with a terminal illness. My own father’s health is not very good and he lives alone and is not very mobile. We worry about my step father’s heart and DaVinci’s dad’s diabetes as they enter their eighth decade. It is really hard to conceive that these once mighty oaks
are now fragile or gone.

I think the message that is always so important at a loved ones death is to rejoice in their life, realizing how important each life is and how many are touched by it, and seeing how fragile and quick even the longest life is, and to remember to share our love and appreciation while we are alive. We can always be grateful for the time we did have with them. I wonder if my sweet uncles Bill or Keith will ever know how much their love and goodness touched my heart and uplifted me just by being who they are. I hope they know that and are enjoying their hard earned peace now and may God comfort those closest to them in their time of sorrow. We will continue to keep them all in our prayers.

Two quotes came to mind tonight so I dedicate them to dear uncle Bill and uncle Keith as they are on my mind this evening as well as their families. At my age, one usually just sees uncles at family reunions, weddings, funerals etc, but it is always good to see them even if you do not have anything profound to say to one another. That thread, history, genes or whatever it is that binds families,  is just there. All the memories and stories from them holding me as a baby welcoming me to the family, to me holding their babies or grand babies with equal delight toss around in ones head at a time like this.

When my brother died at 40 when he was hit by a car, Joyce pulled me aside and sweetly whispered to me “take care of your mom”. I think of my childhood friend and cousin Carla, her oldest daughter with lovely grown daughters of her own now and I whisper to her over the miles the same wish,”Take care of your mom”. I know they all will take care of one another as that is what we do........... and life goes on. Death somehow makes us more aware of the sweetness of life.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.  ~Kahlil Gibran

A human life is a story told by God.  ~Hans Christian Andersen

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