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Smile through the tears...
May 13, 2009 - Jennifer Brookens
The news I had been dreading for the past year showed up via instant message from my cousin this morning. My Uncle Buddy lost his painful battle with cancer. He fought it with everything he had, but this wasn't his first time facing down cancer and this time the battle was just too much.
Today I ran the gauntlet of expected emotions. Tears, then wanting to rage and swear at fate, destiny and the heavens above. Then being able to pull myself together enough to go to work, running around and blocking it out until I got home.
Ironically, looking at some of my recent blogs are helping me deal with it. When I visited my uncle in March, I remember in his hospital room, the nurses had pointers on how to "care" for "Buddy" (as in calling him Buddy instead of Rob, Bob or Robert). Other pointers included "SMILE!" and "Tell bad jokes."
Then there was my cafe experience last week and learning the legend of "Woodchuck." This man passed away 4-5 years ago, yet hearing the men at the cafe tell stories really introduced Woodchuck to me, and I felt as if I did meet him.
It is the stories and good memories that will keep our loved ones alive in our hearts even after they've left this Earth. And sharing these stories/memories with others will guarantee that others will also remember, and even pass them onto the next generations. I know there will be plenty of stories shared about our nutty Uncle Buddy when our family gathers from now on.
And lots of smiles, even if through tears. I'm sure that's the way he'd want it.
"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." —Dr. Seuss (Theodore Seuss Geisel)
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Uncle Buddy and his daughter Jamie (my cousin and maid of honor), after singing a duet at my wedding ceremony