My Uncle Jim just passed today…. cancer.
And I am heartbroken because I can’t be with my family right now. We’re from Kansas but live in Illinois.
And while I love my new job, I haven’t earned any time off and have barely been there a month– I can’t ask. Even if I could, I don’t have the cash to go by car or plane. My parents can’t either.
And you can send flowers and make a tearful phone call to express sympathy…. but nothing replaces a real hug. Or holding hands together at a service, and those wonderful stories people tell that breaks the tears into laughter.
So many times, we’ve been stuck here when family members passed on both sides– my dad’s and my mother’s.
I have an incredible, hardworking, loving, affectionate, close family. But I hardly know them beyond visits for a few hours or a weekends when we can make it back– usually every few years. Phone calls.
I got to talk to my Aunt Judy, his widow, for a few minutes tonight at least. I’m glad we got to cry a little bit together.
I feel terrible because Uncle Jim sent me so many cards over my lifetime– birthday cards and even money for years even into adulthood. He even wrote me letters for awhile. Usually it’s the woman in the family who maintains correspondence but he was the one who signed their cards.
He was a journalism major in college also, and a competitive runner in the senior Olympics. He was so happy I’d found running. Even when I would call to check on him and how chemo was going…. he barely mentioned himself. So humble. He was always “okay”– he wanted to know what was happening with me. He was honest about how he felt, but he had such a deep faith that he always had a positive attitude about it.
His Catholic faith was part of the bedrock of his life. He was a husband, father and business owner.
Uncle Jim, I miss you so.
Thankfully, a good cry usually makes me tired and I sleep well.
Please keep him and our family in your prayers.