Friends… My life has been CRAZY lately. I’ve been traveling all over. I was in New Mexico, Iowa, and Colorado in a span of 30 days. I’ve been in a state of constant change. Change is hard when you are not ready for it.
Three days ago, I received news that my Uncle Al passed away. My Uncle Al was an AMAZING man. He was loving, kind, generous and most important he was ALWAYS there for his family. As I sit and think about him, I am very sad over his passing, but I am grateful and so blessed that he was a part of my life. Along with being a great uncle, father, brother and husband, he was a fantastic cook, carpenter, and electrician. I can remember when he would travel to San Diego, Texas to visit his mother – my grandmother. He was always taking care of repairs around the house. He loved helping others and working with his hands. He was like my grandfather…. he received so much satisfaction from creating things. It is funny how you remember things from the past when you lose someone. I was making breakfast today for my husband. As I cracked the eggs with one hand, I remembered making breakfast at my mother’s house years ago. My Uncle Al and my Uncle Dan were visiting mom. He said that he never could break eggs with one hand. My grandmother could do it easily. It was a compliment.
About 35 family members met in Azle, Texas to watch the UT Longhorns play football last Saturday and spend time with each other. His daughter, Cathie, opened up her beautiful home to the Flores family for an amazing gathering. When we were little, family gathering were special. We gathered together on special holidays. These family visits shaped my life and my perspective of what family is all about. You know what they say, “The only time you see family is at a wedding or a funeral.” We needed to get together because life is very short. Family from South Texas, Central Texas and the North Texas area made it to the event.
I had an opportunity to sit with my uncle outside on the patio last Saturday. I shared what was happening in my life and that I was embracing retirement. I also shared updates on the lives of my daughters and how I was very sad about my grandson living in Colorado. My mother couldn’t make it to the reunion, but I called my her and handed the phone to him so she could talk with him for a bit. As I think about our conversation, I remember telling him that sometimes people have said that when children turn a certain age we should let them become adults and not help out. I explained that if I was in the position to help my children, that I would if I could. I said, “We are only in this world for a short period and that I wasn’t taking anything with me when I was gone.” He said, “If ever the kids need something and we can help…we will help them.” His love of his family was indicative in all he did and how he led his life.
Life surely changes in an instant. We are never ready for death but we know it is certain for everyone. My Uncle Al is no longer with us but his legacy of love is all around us. I will remember his smile, his laughter, his warm embraces, his kindness and his love of family. What matters most is how a man spends his life on Earth… my dear uncle lived a life of love and purpose.
by Linda Ellis
I read of a man who stood to speak at a funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning… to the end.
He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own, the cars… the house… the cash. What matters is how we lived and loved and how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged.
To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile… remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.
So when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash?
Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandmother said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.
Ray Bradbury, Farenheit 451
My message to everyone today, tomorrow and always is to love each other and live each day with grace, love and purpose. We are not promised tomorrow. Life as we know it changes in an instant.
Sending love and blessings your way…
Stella Uribe Stevens