Last week was one of highs and lows. My family lost another uncle. He was my dad’s brother, the one closest to him in age, the quiet one. Because he was quiet and unassuming, I didn’t know much about him until after I was married. Hubs is a listener. At family gatherings (that could be overwhelming) he would quietly engage my uncle in conversation. From Hubs, I learned more about all my uncles and especially about the one who just passed. It seems appropriate on this Veterans’ Day to mention my uncle’s military service during WWII. He served in the Aleutians, Marshall Islands, and the Southern Philippines and received two Bronze Stars. Four years ago, his daughter gathered family members for his ninetieth birthday. How great it was to see the five (of seven) siblings together. Now only two are left. I know it’s to be expected considering their age. Still, it’s difficult to lose a family member.
In contrast, on Saturday our family gained three new members. My cousin’s son married a woman with two children. I was so impressed with the way the minister included the children in the ceremony. Along with witnessing a happy event, I got to connect with cousins I’ve only seen at funerals lately. Sure, some of us connect through Facebook, but not all. So we caught up with what we’re doing now, sharing stories of our children and grandchildren. And, for a change, we were together for a very happy event.
Isn’t life like that—full of highs and lows? Maybe not in the same week, though. Usually, our lives are pretty mundane. Whether we’re still working or retired, each day is pretty much like the one before. We get complacent until Life smacks us up the side of the head. Sometimes it’s for a happy event, like a wedding or a birth (btw, two weeks ago, my nephew and his wife welcomed a son into their family), a promotion, or a retirement. And other times Life pulls us up short with a disappointment, a job loss, or a death. We celebrate the highs and ride out the lows.
In honor of my uncle, my dad, and all who have served our country, I'd like to express my thanks for your service.