This evening the phone rang... upon looking at the caller id - I knew.... Yet another family member had passed on. His name was Dale. He was one of my mother's brothers. And he called this niece, "Dear Sweet Camey" for as long as I can remember. He had been ill for so very long with cancer. I am incredibly thankful that he is no longer in pain and suffering.
There is no question that grief was going to come with his passing.... Yet, it does sting a bit more given the timing. The last time I spent quality time face to face with Uncle Dale was a year ago..... we were together due to another family member's passing (cousin Dennis - he was 47).... and I was in charge of taking care of the family. Did I mention before how large our family is? At least on my mother's side...
Uncle Dale and I had really in-depth conversations over those few days. We talked about the time he called me from his hospital room while I was in the hospital in another city. And we laughed.... It was appropriate at the time - just like it makes me laugh still. Two people hooked up to oxygen tanks trying to talk on the phone... while the people around us were trying to insist we needed our rest.
We also talked about where he stood with God. I can still hear him saying, "Camey? That's the minister in you! Just for the record... we're good. Best we've ever been." And right now.... this moment - I am counting that as a sheer blessing.
Grief comes knocking again. And truthfully.... ministering to ones own family is so much harder.
1 day ago