Hey everyone! Sorry for pulling a disappearing act on you all. I’ve been crazy busy and deep in thought contemplating and reflecting after the events of the past week and a half.
A week ago Sunday I got a call from my mom telling me that my uncle (my dad’s younger brother) was sick with pneumonia and was in ICU. On the Monday night he was transferred to another hospital where they tried everything they could to help his body fight the infection, but unfortunately he passed away on Tuesday night. I was devastated.
My Uncle despite his loud appearance (think bald head, handle bar moustache, glasses, glow in the dark Tweety Bird shorts, etc.), was a very caring and giving man. He volunteered, coached and built the football organization in the community where he lived so that many young football players would have a place to play. He will be greatly missed.
I fondly remember Uncle Stewy calling my parent’s house looking for “Goof” (my dad) then asking me all about my sports and activities. He was very encouraging and genuinely interested in hearing about the things going on with me. He would always end the call by asking me to tell Goof that the Saint had called. The funny thing is, he often called when he knew my dad wasn’t home. I honestly don’t recall any of my other uncles calling me (and I have 8 other uncles). I also remember Uncle Stewy coming to visit me often at the pub where I worked, asking me to bring him and his friend’s a round of the nectar of the god’s and proudly telling his friend’s all about his niece. At my wedding, our best man gave my husband a Maple Leafs hat because he was marrying a Toronto girl (my husband is a Ottawa native and therefore, a Sens fan). My Uncle stood up and told everyone that neither the Leafs hockey nor the Sens hockey was really hockey and that if you wanted to see REAL hockey you had to watch a Canadian’s game (my Uncle was a proud Montreal Canadian’s fan). He always had a joke to tell to make us happy.
This past Sunday we had a very touching and inspiring service to honour my Uncle – the man who had touched us all and brought us so much happiness. After the service we had a pool party to celebrate his life where we all wore colourful dresses, shorts, and t-shirts at my cousin’s house.
During the service, the Pastor shared the story of Leo Buscaglia, an American author and motivational speaker, who had requested that the epitaph on his tombstone be:
“Here lies Leo, who died living”
To Die Living…
What an honour it would be to have that said about you! To be remembered as one who lived with purpose, joy and verve. To spend your life learning what goes into a whole and happy life and to then build that life and be the best that you can.
I’ve come to the conclusion that one day, I want to die living too.
What does “Die Living” mean to you?