That is what he was. Through and through. Even when everyone had given up all hope, he kept on fighting. Even when he was told he no longer qualified for treatments because they would not work, he kept on fighting. He forced others to fight. Or at least encouraged them. These are the things that were said during his service yesterday. I could say that it is just what people say in those kinds of moments, but the truth is…it is actually the truth.
The picture of my uncle in his sunglasses, he is apparently pushing another man that is in a wheelchair. They were in a Relay for Life, or something like that. The man didn’t want to do it, I don’t think . My uncle was relentless.
My uncle had been going to St. Louis for treatments and had two letters from them stating that there was nothing else they can do. The treatments were no longer working. He kept fighting anyway and continued to tell everyone that he was fine.
There were not as many people at his memorial service like my other uncle. I chalk it up to the fact that it was on a Monday. The soonest that the funeral home could actually get to him. The service was more like a Sunday morning sermon and not so much like a memorial service. We sang hymns, the preacher read passages. The preacher spoke to the life of my uncle, it was not open for anyone else. My brother-in-law and I found this strange. I couldn’t help but compare. There were a ton of people at my Uncle Wayne’s funeral and only two people actually spoke. My Uncle Mark’s there were many people, all of whom had something to say and not one that was given the opportunity. Truth is, that is how he would have wanted it…he never did like a fuss.
I cannot say that I would have spoken. I hate speaking to groups of people. But I can write and this is what I would like to say: He was a good man. Especially, the older he got. He made it a point to be around the family. He use to bring us animals and we weren’t suppose to tell dad. He knew how important my first truck was to me. He knew how much I loved country music and would often make me CDs. Even when he was feeling his worst, if he knew you were in town-he’d make it a point to see you…if even more a minute. He could be tough, he could be strict. He was a dad, I believe that is what most of them do. He was strong in his faith. He loved to sing in the choir. I never knew that side, but the way he talked about it…it fulfilled something that was missing. And he fought to the end. He was the strongest man I knew. He deserves that title, because it was a 9.5-10 year battle.
Even as I stood there by his graveside talking to cousins that I had not seen in months if not longer. Having the same conversation with him that i had with my other set of cousins, I realized they were just words. We can say that we will get together. That we won’t wait until the next funeral….the odds are, we won’t. Not anytime soon. It won’t be intentional, we really do have good intentions but life always has other plans. I work two jobs, they work jobs and/or have kids. Life is busy. Life too often dictates and I know that I said that less than two months ago too.
I pondered why I could not cry more over Uncle Mark’s death, but I think that I’m numb and tired. I also knew the day was coming and that he had to be tired. In a way, we all lived with it. He fought it, but we were always on a cliff waiting and wondering. I know that probably makes me sound like a horrible person, but the pain and the stress that I saw my grandpa fight with. My dad. Just hearing about it and being reminded on a constant basis that his time was limited. I am thankful that he lived as long as he did, most would have given up long-long ago. I am glad that we had each passing day that he was still here, but I’m also glad that he no longer has to fight. That he can finally be at rest. That we can finally rest and start the healing so we can continue on.
I was reluctant to write those words, and hope that you do not judge me. They are honest words and I’m nothing if I’m not honest. I loved my uncle. I did and I miss him dearly. I don’t know what is next for our family. My grandmother is fading and my grandpa, the pain and stress-he, too, is exhausted. I don’t know how we continue on, but I know that we have too.
I’ve also lost my train of thought. I was hoping that if I wrote everything out that I would have some philosophical, deep moment with some serious words of wisdom. They’d be forced. This is my second loss in less than two months and right now it just doesn’t make sense. It just makes it painfully aware of how quickly the time is slipping away. I know that we need to live each moment and take it day by day. We need to appreciate the little things…we all know those things. What I don’t know…well that list is long. What I need is a moment to breathe…preferably one where it doesn’t hurt to do so.
If you took the time to read this, I thank you. It is appreciated.
Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.
Montana Rose Photography