I’ve had these thoughts for almost 2 weeks now. Ever since I heard my uncle has passed away. The last time I saw him was over a year and a half ago. He was very sick at the time and from what he told me and what I saw I didn’t think I’d see him again. I was right in that, but wrong in that he would live so long.
My uncle was a deacon, a father, a husband, a brother and above all else a good man. I didn’t know him as well as I wish I had, especially considering the fact that he was my Godfather and my father’s big brother. But from what I do know about him I know that I respected him a great deal, that he had a great sense of humor that could make you laugh at the oddest times at the oddest things, and that if when I die if they say I was half the man he was then I can consider my life worthwhile.
My uncle wanted his 4 brothers to be among his pallbearers but my father suffered a stroke a few years ago and was not able to. I was given the honor of taking his place. At the reception afterwards, my aunt thanked me for what I had done and I was too overwhelmed at the time to correct her – that I should have thanked her for letting me pay my respects to him and honor him in that way.
When my father had his stroke, I prepared myself mentally because for awhile, it looked like he would not survive. I was lucky in that God saw fit to grant me more time with him. After many years of bad blood between us we had just recently, at the time, started to make amends. The passing of my uncle led me to think of the fact that soon my parents might follow. I wish I could say I am a strong enough man that the thought didn’t scare me to my core – but I can’t.
My uncle was a man of faith and his faith in the face of cancer strengthened my faith. I hope that he knows that.