January 5th, 2017.
While 2016 was by far the best year of my life, it has also been super challenging. With every high comes a low.
2017 started off with a knockout punch. Today Heaven celebrates, and the earth is a little dimmer.
Robert “Bob” Morrow, my uncle passed away. He was a faithful believer, and in that we rest peacefully that he now stands in paradise.
Uncle Bob was the one Uncle that I never really understood growing up. He seemed distant and was ornery as any person could be. I always felt like he didn’t like me, or that I somehow did not bring a smile to his face. Then several years ago I started to understand Uncle Bob a bit. Then 2.5 years ago he got cancer. To be honest I never thought about mortality as much as I have since we heard the news. The funny thing was I went from feeling distant to Uncle Bob, to feeling as if he was the closest extended family member I had. Unfortunately I did not see him often but after he got cancer I can remember all the times we would talk. The first thing that opened the door was his blog. He wrote honest, hard truth. He wasn’t afraid to show his weakness, doubt, while still holding out his flame of faith. During that time he was the only person that never threw up a mask. The way he put it was as it was. For the first time I saw what it like to look at a family member who was brutally honest. I highly respected it.
Then over time when I would see him I would ask him how things were going. I can recall all the conversations we had when he would plainly put how things were falling apart, and his concerns. Guess what? The person who tries to have all the answers (me), didn’t have anything to say. I was overwhelmed at times with “I don’t know what to say” or “What could I even say to make things okay?”. The truth. Things weren’t okay. They weren’t good. But Uncle Bob was faithful. He was true to his faith, family, and friends. Here was a man that death was waiting in his shadows, that didn’t give up just yet. No words can describe all the life lessons I learned just from his perseverance. It’s funny, I’m laughing while crying writing this recalling his words. When I would be at a loss for words not sure what to say, he would casually change and ask what I was up to. Asking questions to see if I was thinking deeply about my future. Even when he was looking at the end of the tunnel he was trying to leave me with wisdom on how to move forward in life.
Sadly I didn’t get to spend much time with him in the past 2.5 years. I was traveling the world, living in Wisconsin and Chicago, pursuing my dreams. Every time I saw him though I was reminded of what it looks like to persevere. I learned what “in sickness and health” looks like on family. As time passed I also was reminded of human mortality. I saw him progressively weaken, and the last time I saw him I could see the effects cancer had taken on him. There, during Thanksgiving was the shell of a man of faith. Whose body was worn down, but whose faith still shone bright. Even then I could see death standing ever close ready to take him. But He pushed on. Finally, this morning, Jan. 5th, 2017 he went on to the other side.
Uncle Bob, I’m too late to say hello again on this side, but I wait for the day I can see you again. Thank you for being so real, and authentic with me and the world. You were the one who honestly showed me what it looks like to be broken, doubting, and with a limited time table yet still be a loving family member and investing in those who will outlive yourself. Here is to you, we raise our glasses for a toast, You’ve started the next adventure and I look forward to hearing about it when we catch up next.
Dear reader, remember those around you. Cancer sucks, it has taken two loved ones. Death is hard to deal with. There is no easy transition on friends and family. You, and everyone you see is mortal, with an appointment with death, live life with as few regrets as possible.
from a voice of the outer echos of Cyberspace,