Uncle Jerry, Uncle Johnny, Mom, & Grandaddy
I have written before on both my mother and my father. This morning I was compelled to write again. I woke up to a text message from my mom saying "Uncle Johnny went to be with Jesus". My moms brother has been sick with cancer for a few years now. He lives in South Carolina, while my parents live in North Carolina. We knew the end was coming soon when my mom got a call from him, and knew it wasn't good. She hopped on a plane (thank goodness for flight benefits) and immediately took him to the emergency room. They told her he might have a few days, or a few months. Either way, the cancer had won already.
This story is not to focus on death, or even the life that my uncle lived. Today I want to focus on the type of people my parents are. Just a few short years ago, my mother was in the same position with my grandmother. She graciously dropped everything to take care of her, and was without a doubt, as my dad calls her, an angle of mercy. She was then, and she was last night as she shared her final moments with her brother.
I called my dad this morning to try and make sense of everything and see how my mom was. As he described my uncles final night, I couldn't help but feel sadness, that my mother had to bear all those emotions, and "deal" with the passing of her brother. It was just the two of them, they shared some laughs and memories, and my mother read Psalm 23 to him. I can't imagine what it would be like to sit with a loved one as they take their final breath. But then it hit me, this is truly what makes life beautiful. It is not always fun and what we want, but we deal with what we have been given. And my mother has always played her cards well. Her mothers last wish was for her to take care of Uncle Johnny, and that she did. For the past few weeks, my mom has gone back and fourth since she was finishing up her tenth year at delta, and is now able to retire with flight benefits. While my mom was at work, my dad would come down and take over.
The way these two care for people is astounding to me. They have always been the prime example, but the past five years have shed so much light on the mercy and compassion they truly have for others. I only hope that I have half the heart they do for people. I have learned more form them in these moments than I ever thought possible. Mostly I have learned that life is made up of all different moments, some that make you laugh, and some that make you cry- happy or sad tears. But all of these moments compiled together make the most beautiful story. Even through suffering, there is beauty. For me, I think it's the unknown. I have no control over what may happen today, tomorrow, or next year. But my trust is in a God who holds these moments in the palm of his hand, and treats us with the utmost grace and compassion. And for that, I am thankful, and I have peace.
My mom & Uncle Johnny