Wednesday, November 17, 2004

You never know

Since I last posted we've dealt with a whirlwind of events, traveled many miles, seen many faces, consoled, cried, laughed a bit and talked a lot.

Shortly before our Pastor's Appreciation Dinner was underway, we found out that one of hubby's uncle's had passed away. He quite suddenly became sick about 2 weeks ago. One week later he was on machines, and on Saturday, his children decided to take him off of the machines that were making him breath and leave the rest in God's hands. A little over 2 hours later, he passed away quietly.

Hubby was asked to MC the funeral on Tuesday. Sunday was another day of phone calls between family members, clergy and friends to make the necessary arrangements. Monday was spent preparing for a two hour drive that evening so that hubby could meet with the immediate family and verify arrangements.

Wednesday morning there was an early family service and viewing, then the funeral in the afternoon followed by the burial. Then to the reception..I was amazed by the way he was able to keep his composure, and the strength he had to deal with all of this. I can't imagine how difficult it would be to lead a funeral service for a family member that you were close to. It's hard enough pulling oneself together to just attend the service and get through the day..

But he did. He left to the church early, and I could guess why. He needed a few quiet moments with God. Amazing how I just know that about him. When he woke up on Wednesday I could see it in his eyes and when he told me later where he had gone, I wasn't surprised. In the midst of the preparations, he had climbed up into the balcony of the church and in a corner he had gone to his knees in prayer for a private meeting with God.

What a man. I love that about him. The way he leans on God. The way he trusts him completely to get him through anything and everything - simple or difficult.

In the midst of the sadness, have you ever noticed how funerals can turn into family reunions? Family members from Colorado to South Carolina came in for the funeral. While sitting at the reception, I just watched their faces as they chatted. How they were all speaking words of comfort and encouragement to each other. How eager they all seemed to hear news about each other's lives. How they all agreed to keep in touch a little better, exchanging new numbers and addresses and making plans.

Despite the loss, there was so much gained. As the afternoon wore into the evening, you could hear laughter again. They lingered, trying to spend every moment they could together. Cousins, aunts and uncles walked out looking a bit refreshed, with content smiles on their faces. There was a sense of reconnection and a renewed appreciation for family. Faced with the reality of mortality, you could feel that they didn't want to lose another moment in each other's lives.

You just never know what tomorrow will bring.

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