Jan 15, 2011

Posted by in Articles & Essays, Family Life, Religion | 0 Comments

Remembering Uncle John

“Trust in God’s timing. It’s always right.”
(This essay was originally written on Monday, December 20, 2010.)

I am trying to keep this saying close to heart today. This morning, my dear Uncle John was called home to heaven at 9:45am. To some who saw him, but did not know him, he probably looked like just another elderly man, toting around his portable oxygen for the past couple of years. To me, he was always the man who called me “Toots” and gave me a big hug and a kiss.

I last visited with my uncle three days before he went to heaven. We had a lovely visit, filled with the usual topics he liked to discuss with me: my kids, politics, scouts, and singing. We shared some good laughs about my three techy and geeky sons. We shared scout camp stories. He also told me about his 30-plus years singing in choir at church. It broke my heart just a little to hear him express profound, deep sorrow at not being able to sing with the Choir at Christmas Eve Mass.

My aunt and cousins celebrated Christmas with my uncle yesterday, so true to his word, he had his last Christmas at home. He told me on Friday that he knew he would be in his room for Christmas. I left him that day with a promise to return on Monday.

On my way to see him this morning (with plans to bring him Holy Communion), I was caught up by a ridiculously long funeral at 9:45am. It was precisely at that moment that he passed away. I do not think it was a coincidence at all, but rather one of those moments in life meant to give us pause and reflection. Now, I like to think he will be singing with the choir of Angels in heaven, breathing deeply as he sings the notes of the music he so loved.

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