|My wedding: Mom, Uncle Don, and I|
June 21, 1997
Last week, my family and I mourned the loss of a beloved uncle, brother, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend. My Uncle Don passed away. As the pain of death washes over us and eventually recedes like the tide, we are left reveling in the love and joy of a life well lived.
Though it could never have been long enough, he lived a great life in his 86 years on Earth. He was a quiet, gentle soul with an impish sense of humor and a warm smile that never left his face. And unlike his tightly wound niece, he weathered life's punches with humility, humor, and grace.
In the past few days, I have felt the sting of this loss, but shared in the great love and legacy that he left behind in my big, wonderful family. It is times like this too that I find myself reflecting on life's deepest questions: What is the meaning of life? What is my legacy and contribution? How can I emulate my uncle to honor his life?
Though I don't know all the answers, I do know that I want to make Uncle Don (and all my loved ones who have gone before me) proud. I want to be my best self by rolling with the punches more and remembering to always have a smile for everyone. I want to let those who are most important to me know it by spending time together while we can. Life is short and if we are not careful, it can slip through our fingers before we know it.