I have this habit of telling people to be careful when I leave them. Or sometimes when I hang up the phone.
be careful – watch out for the other fella, as my grandfather would say.
be careful – drive carefully.
be careful - don’t let anything happen to you.
There is always a chance that when you tell someone goodbye – whether they are going to work, to the store, or getting on an airplane – that you won’t see them again.
A slim chance, but still a chance.
Anything can happen. Anywhere. At anytime. There is so much crazy in this world.
But what if you knew when you hugged someone goodbye, it would truly be the last time you saw him?
What if you knew that within days – or maybe a few short weeks – that he was going to die?
What would you say to them? How would you act differently?
That is what we did this morning.
We said goodbye.
My dad’s brother was diagnosed with Stage 5 cancer 13 short days ago.
His time given is very limited. And 13 days have already passed.
We were all blessed with time with him this last week. And then again this morning.
And the reality of it all? That will probably be the last time.
Come Jesus Come.
I can’t imagine what is going through my dad’s mind. Or through my uncle’s.
Until this morning, yesterday was the longest visit Daddy had been able to have. It lasted about 45 minutes.
Daddy, his sister, and Maggie-Peyton went to see him and took him his requested lemon-meringue pie.
His body is exhausted and the cancer is aggressive. Yet, his sweet spirit still wanted a lemon-meringue pie.
I will never forget that.
A huge part of me didn’t want to leave. We have many more days of travel and adventure planned, but it seemed so unfair to leave and know that someone we love so deeply isn’t able to enjoy those kind of things anymore here on Earth. It is heavy. And it hurts deeply.
But we also know that he is suffering so much more than we are. And he will be so much better off sooner than we will. Soon, his body will be cancer free and he will be dancing with angels.
Daddy always reminds me that life is for the living. And that is why it is so important to make the most of each and every day. Because we don’t know when our last will come.
And he doesn’t just say the words. He lives it.
So, today, we said goodbye. We cried. We ached. And we loved.
How many times in life do things happen and our minds fill with “I wish I had…” or “If only…”
Today? There was none of that.
We were given the blessing of saying goodbye.
Uncle Buster knows how much he is loved. And so do we.
As he hugged me crying this morning, he said, “I will see you on the other side of Jordan.”
I had a peace that passes all understanding in those words. Because I know he will.
And some of Uncle Buster’s last words to Daddy?
“I am going home. Y’all go. And go live out your Daze of Adventure.”
And so, we are……