**** If you are at work, school, or any other pubic place you may not want to read this. It is a pretty heavy post. It is also super long and you may get fired for reading it! Just a warning.****
Today is my Uncle Larry's birthday. This year he is celebrating like no other. He is walking with Jesus on 2 brand new legs. I have no doubt that he is loving ever minuet of it. He died somewhat suddenly earlier this year and the sting of this death is still fresh for most of our family. Everyone but me. I am sad that he is gone, don't get me wrong. I think about how much I miss him every day. But for some reason I can't get as sad as I want to be. Confused? Let me try to explain this. Uncle Larry was the most godly man I have ever known. He truly loved God with all of his heart, all of his soul and all of his mind. Not only that, he loved others just as much. Anyone. Everyone. Really. If you think you are faithful, you got nothing on Uncle Larry! Trust me.
Ever since my Uncle Mark passed away when I was in the 3rd grade, I have worried about the day Uncle Larry would die. I stayed up many nights crying because I was so scared of when he would die. I didn't know God then. I was not a follower of Jesus Christ then. Now I am. My heart is better and stronger now.
After they amputated Uncle Larry's good leg I had a bad feeling that things weren't going to turn out well. And then, it happened. The infection spread. It spread fast. The doctors told him they could take both arms to try to save him. Can you blame the man for saying no? He already had both his legs amputated! He didn't want anymore treatment from that moment on. Just medication to keep him comfortable. I don't think anyone realized how quick he would pass from that moment. I know I didn't. The whole time Uncle Larry was in the hospital I was a mess. I cried a lot. I prayed hard. I felt very drained. I hated knowing that he was in so much pain. I found myself asking God that one question you are never suppose to ask Him... "Why?". Why would he put such a good man through so much? Why would He not just heal him on His own? Why did our family have to go through another death? Why?.... Because it was His plan. It was his time. God had called him home. It was meant to be. Uncle Larry had the best of care and they still weren't able to save him. Is it sad? Yes. Am I grieving? Yes. Do I wish he were still here? Yes..... but that is so very selfish. Uncle Larry is never again going to feel pain. He is in heaven looking down on us. God gave me peace about Uncle Larry the moment I heard he passed. Prior to him passing I was devastated at the thought of him dying. So I prayed for a safe, painless passing for him, and for peace and understanding for me. When Charlie told me he didn't make it I had an overwhelming feeling of peace. It's called grace. His grace is enough! I wanted to cry and cry. I couldn't. God wouldn't let me. He gave me my peace. I did cry some. But it felt like happy tears, not sad tears. He gave me the understanding. I know, without a doubt, that Uncle Larry is with Jesus. That thought, and the mental image of him standing on those golden streets, is peace and understanding enough for me.
God delivers. If you have never experienced "feeling" Him, I hope someday you do. Your faith will grow leaps and bounds.
Uncle Larry passed surrounded by family. He got to tell everyone goodbye and spend time with his family before he passed. I always thought it would be terrible to know you are about to die. I'm not so sure anymore. Uncle Larry got to accept it, he got to say those goodbyes. Still, it doesn't change that he died, but at least everyone got a chance to tell him how much they loved him. Everyone but me. I was selfish and didn't go. My thinking was " I don't want to remember him that way". What if there was something he wanted to tell me? What if he was disappointed that I didn't give him just one more hug? I missed my opportunity. Never again will I get the chance to see his face, hear his contagious laugh and feel instantly comforted by his presence. I wanted so badly to sing to him and comfort him during his time of need. But I froze up. I hate the feeling of regret, but it is there and probably will be for the rest of my life. I also wanted to sing at his funeral, but I choked at that too. I didn't feel right even asking if I could. Not sure why,but I just didn't. Some decisions feel so right while you are making them, then in an instant they feel like the biggest mistake of your entire life.
Happy Birthday Uncle Larry! I hope you are dancing at your birthday party with Jesus! Oh, I know you are! Dancing on your new legs! I can't wait to give you a hug again, because you had the best hugs! I'm not in a huge rush though. My day will come, when God is ready. I love you Uncle Larry! Miss you!