My husband and I try to go home every year for Thanksgiving and seldom find ourselves at home during any other month.
This year, however, we suspected we might be moving late in the fall so when we found out our son and his fiancé were going to be visiting Cincinnati in September to watch the Red’s play, we decided to join them. As a result we unexpectedly found ourselves home off cycle.
We had one evening not scheduled so on the off-chance that my uncle was in town I called to see if we could see him. Happily, he was flying back in the day I contacted him, was free the evening we were, and asked us to come to his home for dinner.
Two days later he was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. He was told to expect six or seven months.
Uncle Jim died this past week….just a little over two months later.
I didn’t expect to be home in September, I didn’t expect to be given the gift of those few hours in his home with him. I certainly never expected that it would be the last time I saw him here on this earth.
This week the convergence of these unexpected events has both amazed and devastated me.
I couldn’t help but look for signs when I was out taking pictures these last few weeks and I found one in this wintry sky over my new state. These wings are for him. I have no doubt he’s now in the company of not just the siblings who went before him, but also a host of angels, who welcomed him home.
He lived his life well. He touched the hearts and lives of countless people with his generosity and the ways he genuinely enjoyed helping others. He cared. In his last email to me he said he was at peace.
We should all be so prepared to face the unexpected.