Its taken me over a week to write this,
A fact which surprised me a little,
Words are usually my thing.
But this time, when I would sit and begin to write,
A new wave of sadness would hit me,
And I just couldn’t finish.
I have never been good with loss.
Death terrifies me.
I mean being a Christian does come with the whole promise of eternal life.
But something about not knowing exactly what to expect,
About leaving all I love and know behind,
Is beyond frightening.
My Uncle Vincent married my Aunt when I was in early elementary school.
They were such a funny couple,
He was tall and strong and outdoorsy.
She was small and petite and quirky as can be.
I wasn’t sure what to think,
But he was so genuine and kind,
It didn’t take long for all of us to fall in love with him.
He had a wolf named Tawny;
Yes, a real wolf.
He had lived in Alaska, which he always considered his home.
When he moved to Illinois he brought his girl Tawny with him,
And she was the biggest, most intimidating thing I had ever touched.
She was also so sweet, a giant teddy bear of sorts, just like her owner.
Years of health problems with both my Aunt and Uncle took their toll,
And when they announced they were divorcing my heart shattered into a million pieces.
In the past with my family, when you divorced the spouse not related disappeared from everyones lives and was never heard from again except as the topic of negative conversation.
I couldn’t imagine life without my Aunt Robin and Uncle Vincent.
My Aunt Robin moved to Florida and started a new life.
I still miss her terribly, since we have only seen her once in the last four years since she left.
Uncle Vincent stayed for a while,
But it wasn’t as I feared.
He was still very much a part of the family.
He still loved us, all of us, and that wasn’t going to changed because his marital status did.
But his heart was in Alaska, with his daughter and all the mountains and wildlife and majesty that it possessed.
In June of 2009, he returned to his home.
Just two short months before my wedding.
My heart again felt crushed by sadness.
How could holidays still come,
And life still go on,
With such a big part of my life not sharing in it?
As we said goodbye on that warm summer day,
Something about it seemed very final.
A part of me,
Somewhere deep down,
Knew it was the last time I would see him.
You take people for granted,
And you get caught up in your own life and all that goes with it,
And you forget to really appreciate the blessings that you have been given.
My Uncle Vincent was a blessing in the truest form.
It was through Facebook that we eventually reconnected,
And I am so grateful for that.
There were so many things I never really knew about him that I got the chance to know through social networking.
He was an opinionated conservative who was unafraid to speak and share his mind.
He strongly supported the NRA.
And above all, he genuinely loved his family.
I had always been afraid that since he moved away,
He would forget us.
But he never hesitated to tell me how beautiful I was,
What a great mother I had become,
And how proud he was of me.
He was a loyal reader of my blog,
And I could always count on him for encouragement.
Every holiday and special occasion,
He made sure to take time out to wish us all well and let us know he was thinking of me and my family.
The last time was Mother’s Day.
It was such a comfort knowing he was always there,
Even from thousands of miles away,
Looking at our pictures and doing his best to stay involved in our lives.
And then one day,
His daughter posted on his Facebook,
Letting us all know he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer,
And had two weeks to live at most.
I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach.
I couldn’t breath.
I couldn’t think.
This can’t be real.
I sat on my couch and began to sob silently.
His kidney’s were failing,
And they would give out before the cancer took over.
His death would be painless,
He would simply fall asleep.
I was grateful for that,
Somehow it made all of this a tiny bit less horrific.
He would not suffer,
And a good man like he was did not deserve to.
Four days later he passed away.
No amount of time would have been enough I suppose,
But four days was just so short.
One thing I am grateful for was the chance to say goodbye,
And to tell him I loved him,
And I would miss him so much,
And that he meant the world to me.
I didn’t get to talk to him,
But his daughter was kind enough to pass it on.
It was so, not enough,
To say goodbye on Facebook.
Facebook is wonderful for many reasons,
But eternal farewells are not one of them.
Now he is gone.
I couldn’t go to his funeral,
Alaska is just too far away.
It felt so strange to not be able to say goodbye in person.
And I miss him.
I still half expect to see his updates,
And hear about whats going on in his life.
I know he lives on in my memories,
And he will not be forgotten.
He touched a lot of people,
And was an invaluable part of my life.
He is resting eternally now.
He feels no more pain.
I will always miss him,
But I’m okay with that,
Because it reminds me how much I loved him,
And how much he loved me and my sisters and brother and our family.
So farewell for now Uncle Vincent,
I know I will see you again someday.
I love you ❤
Farewell For Now June 5, 2012
Its taken me over a week to write this,