I’ve just returned from a funeral back home in Michigan. Not that there is ever a good time to have to go home for a funeral, but going home when the highest temperature I experienced was a blustery 20 degree’s kept me inside and hunkered down and spending as much time as I could trying to stay warm.
My Uncle John passed away last week due to a massive heart attack. This uncle was my God Father and one of those uncles that you remember too many funny stories to even begin to think about which one to tell when someone asks about him.
While at the Memorial Service, the church was packed full of friends and family members who all took turns getting up in front of the podium to share and bring up stories that reminded them of John. To me, that is the best way to think and remember someone is while listening to great stories shared by good friends. There were so many stories that everyone else shared, it puts a smile on your face knowing that he touched the lives of everyone he came into contact with.
While sitting there listening to so many funny tales, it reminded me how and why I have such a funny personality. Granted, both my parents have been life long jokesters and my entire family has been playing jokes and throwing out smart assed comments for as long as I can remember, but my Uncle John is the one who I always looked up to when it came to his lack of disregard to hold back his feelings or his comments.
Basically if he felt a specific way, he was going to let you know, and I LOVE and RESPECT that in a person. I cant tell you the amount of times Cindy has questioned my ‘Lack of Filter’ when it comes to my comments I will throw out at a party or while talking with people. Neither of my parents are like this and will both hold their tongue when it comes to speaking out in public, so I can only assume that I learned this trait from my Uncle John who was always present at EVERY family gathering.
He was that Uncle that always had a fast car, a shiny motorcycle or was just returning from some spur of the moment trip he had went on with friends. Not that he would sit around and boast or brag, but when talking to him, he’d always have a cool story to tell you about that you usually ended up repeating to different friends.
John was a good uncle and one that always sent you a birthday card, a Christmas card or just a note to let you know he was thinking and praying for you if you were going through a tough time. Not that he would have ever been considered a softie, for he went out of his way to be that grumpy old man, on the outside, but those of us who knew him personally, knew that he was just a big softie on the inside.
He was a great father to my cousin Paul and that grumpy old man openly became a gushy, cuddly, softie when his two grand kids were around. Grand kids will do that to just about ANY man I’ve ever met in my life and that is probably the only sad part about this whole funeral.
Death to me is not a bad or sad thing. If you’ve lived a good and respectful life, the way my Uncle did, then I believe when you die and pass into Heaven, there shouldn’t be anything sad about it. The only thing sad about this is for the family left behind. This also drives home my belief that we should all be living our lives to the fullest.
While at the memorial, my older sister was standing at the podium talking about my uncle and life’s experiences when she shared a story about why we should be out living, and not just talking about it. If you only read one thing today, read this last paragraph and let it sink in.
Monica told of a time that my younger sister Amy was graduating from High School and wanted to go to Hawaii for her senior trip. She really wanted to go and experience this trip of a lifetime with my little sister, but there was no way she could afford it. Our parents have always preached and taught us that you don’t buy ANYTHING you cant pay for in cash. She was talking with my aunt about this trip and how bad she wanted to go on it and my aunt simply said “Oh Hell Monica, just charge it and go have fun.”
So my two sisters went on this trip and had the time of their lives as young girls do while enjoying life……My little sister died of a brain aneurysm a few months later.
What are you waiting for? Go out and have fun while you can….who knows what tomorrow will bring?