November 14, 2010
Love, Loss, and Saying Goodbye
Life is so fragile. Most of the time, we go through our day to day life in a rush, never slowing down to just be. Just enjoy this thing called life. Losing someone you love really makes you slow down and remember what is important in the world. I try to be mindful, to be present in the moment, but too often I get bogged down in worries that just aren't important. It's times like this that remind us to be present, every moment.
It's been a tough few weeks for our family. Just a few days shy of the end of October, we got the news that my grandmother's brother had advanced bone cancer. The universe works in amazing ways, and it just so happened I was already headed south for a visit. Our family has always been a close knit one, so there was no two ways about it. The minute I hit the ground in Charlotte, we headed for my grandmother's house, then drove to Florida. The first day was spent chatting and hugging, and listen to Nanny and Uncle JM talk about their childhood. We made it just in time for that blessing of a day, because that was the last day he was really able to interact with us. The rest of our visit was spent enjoying our family and just being with Uncle JM.
I returned home, and I got the call the next day that he had passed. I can't tell you how thankful I was for the moments I shared, then and through my life, with him and the rest of my family. I can't stop thinking of the wonderful times. I remember being a very young child and thinking my Uncle JM was just the tallest man I'd ever seen! I loved our visits to Florida...he would hoist me or my sister up on his mighty shoulders and we'd head out to his back yard to pick oranges until we couldn't hold them all. Later, when I was older, I saw him as the best example of a husband and father anyone could ask for. The love and tenderness he never ceased to show made him a ray of sunshine to everyone that knew him.
I guess the thing I am most thankful for is that I had the chance to say goodbye. I am so thankful that life constantly reminds me to cherish ever moment I have with those I love. Though I have tears rolling down my face as I type, they are a mix of sad and happy tears. Sad because I miss him, but so happy that I had him for a little while, and that he made this world a better place just by being in it.