Wednesday, December 5, 2012


These last five months have been extraordinarily difficult for my family.  I have spent a part of every day crying...I just burst out in tears randomly throughout the day.  My sweet girls run to me and put their arms around me and we talk about it.  I feel sort of bad that they have to see their mom this way, but then I also realize that they see what the love of family is all about and that is a good thing.

My uncle was a really special part of my life.  I adored him and he adored me.  We just loved to be together.  And Jason and the girls...we all just loved to all be together.  We had a lot of fun the city, cooking, at museums, shopping, at restaurants, just talking, watching football, baking, so, so many things.

I can't believe I can't call him on the phone.  I can't believe he is not going to read this blog.  I can't believe that I am not going to get an email or a phone call about something in the blog--he seldom left comments, but he read every post and often emailed or called and said, "In your blog, you said..."  I cant' believe that he won't be here for Christmas.  It hurts.  It's difficult.  There is a part of me that just wants to sit in the corner screaming "No,no, no, no, no!"
My uncle dancing with my dad's mom at my brother's wedding.
My Grandpa had just passed away a month earlier.

The one thing that has given my family some peace over these last months is something that I truly hope he doesn't mind if I share with you.  Fifty years ago, in 1962, my uncle was engaged to a beautiful woman who was a gifted pianist and music teacher.  Before they could marry, she was diagnosed with leukemia and passed away.  Over the years my uncle had girlfriends and was even engaged another time, but he never married.  When he was diagnosed with leukemia, my mother, my aunt and I all had the same reaction: there is more to this than we understand.  There is more to the power of love.  There is more to this life.  There is more to faith than we can comprehend.

The Bible tells us that heaven is beautiful and that there is no more mourning or crying in heaven.  We know that our bodies change form in heaven.  In the book of Genesis, we learn that we will be reunited with our loved ones in heaven.

That gives me peace now.  I envision my Naunie so happy to see my Uncle.  I envision our whole family--Aunt Grace and Aunt Santa and Aunt Millie and Uncle Sal and my Nonno and my aunts and uncle that have gone before and all of the cousins...making a HUGE pot of gravy and opening bottles of wine and just feasting for days.  My Uncle probably met his grandparents, whom he had never met because they were back in Italy at a time when people didn't travel as they do today; by the time my Uncle started traveling to Italy they were already gone.  They are probably partying right now.
playing RockBand one Christmas morning a few years ago--my uncle loved the Wii!

This Christmas, instead of coming to church with me, my uncle will hear the angels sing in Heaven.  This Christmas morning, instead of talking to me about these people and times that he missed from when he was young, he will be celebrating with them again.  I am happy for him.

I also believe that he will still be part of my life.  Sometimes I feel my Naunie or my Grandpa or my mother-in-law with me.  I know I will feel him, too.  When I saw Bruce this summer, he said something that I needed to hear then, something that I know to be true: "Those who have gone before find a way to continue to walk beside us and somehow inform our lives."

There is no doubt that my uncle will be with me forever.