Thursday, September 15, 2011

Goodbye

Tonight marks the passing of my Uncle Albert. He has been battling heart failure and a whole host of complications for a long time now and earlier today, he made the decision to take himself off life support. His family and many friends surrounded him with worship until he was gone. What a beautiful picture of the body of Christ.
I actually only met my Uncle a handful of times. He lived in what I would consider rural Minnesota and didn't enjoy traveling much so I only saw him when we visited out there and a couple of times in Wyoming when he made the trip for family reunions. Despite how few times I met him, he is big in my memory. Both literally and figuratively. He was a big man of German decent and dwarfed me as a child. It's part of what led to his heart problems. But more than that he was a BIG man. He had a big faith, a big smile, and the biggest laugh. What I remember most about being around Uncle Albert is the laughter. He never took himself too seriously even though he took plenty of issues seriously.
He leaves a wife of 40 years, my Aunt Ruth Ann- my mother's sister. We are a close family and I ache for her as a widow. I know she loved her man and will miss his daily presence and leadership. His daughter, Marilee, is hands down my favorite cousin. I know it's probably mean of me to have a favorite but we are just 1 year and 18 days apart in age and even though we only get to see each other every few years, its like we've never been apart. She's like the big sister I never had and I admire her greatly. I hurt for her now and for lost dreams, her daddy won't be there to walk her down the aisle when that day comes. Or to hold her babies. But they will know their Grandfather because Marilee is every bit Albert's daughter. She is the reason I feel I knew him so well with so few meetings. He also left his son Nathan, wife Amber, and their two sons, Connor and Benjamin. At 3.5 years younger than me, I've never known Nathan like I have Marilee but I know that he too mirrors the best parts of his father and so his sons will grow up knowing their Grandfather.

Good-bye Uncle Albert, until we meet again. You lived well, loved well and will be greatly missed.

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