Sunday, March 02, 2008

Home!

Thank God I am home. It was a trip I will never forget, both bittersweet yet full of loving memories. My uncle died of cancer last weekend and I made the trip down to Vale, Oregon for his funeral service. It was the perfect memorial for him, filled with shared memories, many honors given, and touching music. There wasn't a dry eye in the house.

The biggest problem is that my uncle was too young to die. He was just 63 and should have had many years of life left with my aunt and their kids and grand kids. He was involved with police dispatching, being volunteer fire chief, and farming for many years. In summary, he was the best kind of person God puts on this earth. It is tough to consider that he won't be around anymore to laugh and share with. My poor father has had to live through both of his brothers passing away, and I feel very deeply for him.

A lesson to be learned from this is that melanoma is real. It is what took my uncle away. My family of farmers tried to wear long sleeved shirts and hats, but all that sun exposure and not knowing about sun screen back in the day were problematic. We are all at least 1/4 Swedish with fair skin. God knows I have to literally bake myself to get a tan, but those days are over. Tanning isn't worth it. If you are going to be in the sun, wear sunscreen and protect yourself.

Today I am going to take care of my business and get ready for the work week. I keep reflecting on the family I saw Saturday that I hadn't seen in too long because I am always so busy. I have no idea yet how to change this and spend more time with family, but somehow I will figure it out. When it has been over seven years seeing some of these folks, it fills me full of shame.

Have a nice evening and I will see you back here tomorrow night!

9 comments:

JohnH985 said...

Glad you're back home. Your comments really hit home with me, so much of what you say I went through this summer. At my Dad's funeral I saw family members I haven't seen in years, some of them decades. I saw family members with kids that I knew as kids that last time I saw them. I really didn't think I thought too much of it, but realized that it had been too long and that a lot of those family members were actually good people and people I want to see more of.

Drew said...

My grandfather died when he was 64 when I was 10. I didn't realize it then, but that is far too young.

I feel for your loss.

Carl said...

Very sorry to hear this Heidi. My family lost my favorite uncle Bowen (aka Uncle Junie) last year in May. I couldn't get away to the funeral and I felt so bad. It still gets me now and again when I think of one of his jokes or sayings that this irreplaceable man is gone. Like I said before, you won't get over this, but eventually, it won't hurt as much. God be with you and your kinfolk...

Heidi Meeley said...

John, it really bothered me when I realized how many family members I hadn't seen in a long time. I feel a great deal of empathy with you on this one. Life gets so busy that sometimes family gets second priority. As a workaholic, it made me sad to see that I had put work over that. It might be a bit empty at first, but I have vowed to make trips this summer to the east and west.

Someday I hope to make it down your way too!

Heidi Meeley said...

Drew, I agree. It is way too young. I am sorry to hear that you lost your grandfather at such a young age. It really resonates.

Maybe God takes the good ones first?

Heidi Meeley said...

Carl, thank you so much. It is hard to lose a close family member, and to realize you will never have another moment in time with them. It makes me very sad to know I will never hear my uncle tell another funny story or to hear his unique laugh. I am also very sad for my aunt, who is reeling from losing a man she should have grown much older with.

Thank you again.

Swinebread said...

Sorry to hear about your Uncle. I hope you and your family can get through this OK despite the fact that everything has changed. You’re so right about family and health.

My SO’s Uncle just died as well, we knew it was coming, that’s why we went to Japan in November. He was close to the same age as your Uncle.

Heidi Meeley said...

Swinebread, thank you for the kindness. It has been a bit tough adjusting to the fact that my uncle is gone. I always took for granted that he would be here for a long time, so it hasn't sunk it very well that he is gone.

I was wondering about your trip to Japan and if there was any particular reason. I am very sorry to hear that. My condolences to you and your SO.

Life is way too fragile.

JohnH985 said...

Hey, if you ever make it down this way you both have a place to stay, if you don't mind sleeping on the couch :)