|Uncle David, Treavor, Jeshurun and Huy on the family farm last summer in Illinois|
Last week, we got the sad news that a beloved uncle of Treavor's had passed away. It was so out of the blue, that it still seems a bit unreal. During our trip to the States last summer, we got to spend a handful of days with Uncle David and his beautiful wife, Lorrie. We were so thankful for that time, then, and even more thankful for that time, now, as we reflect upon his life.
Uncle David seemed to always have a smile on his face. His lightheartedness and humor was refreshing to be around. He loved sarcasm and telling stories, so our boys loved talking to him anytime they saw him. They still re-tell stories that Uncle David told us around the farm's dining table last summer. As soon as they got up, they would race to get on their clothes so they could help him with the chores to do around the farm. Uncle David was always obliging to let them tag along and get in his way. He was so thoughtful to invite them to do whatever he was doing; no matter how big, or how dirty, the task.
|Uncle David with Huy gathering chicken eggs (they did this every day we were there - their highlight!) Sorry for the blur...|
Uncle David loved living life and taking care of the animals on the farm. Though sometimes donning a tougher exterior, he definitely had a soft side. For instance, he and his wife, Lorrie, couldn't bear to kill their chickens and roosters to have a chicken dinner. Instead, some of them had names and even ate with the family cats. :) We loved to witness his "softy" side.
|Uncle David talking with one of his fave roosters|
|The chickens helping themselves to the cat's food!|
During our stay, some cousins came over for a day and Uncle David took them on a "tractor ride" around the property. They loved it! He was always thinking of fun things to do with them, and didn't mind a little speed. :)
|Uncle David ready for a ride.|
|The boys, their cousins, piled in and soaking up the Illinois sunshine. Let's go!|
After spending a few days with Uncle David and Aunt Lorrie, we all couldn't wait to see them again. Since our visit, the kids have talked numerous times about the farm and helping out Uncle Dave with the chores.
|Lorrie and David...in this absolutely beautiful photo from fourlads photography|
Now, as we deal with the reality that we'll never see him again on this side of Heaven, it is a little difficult to look at pictures of our visit. As a couple, Treavor and I have hugged people and said our goodbyes, not realizing that those times would be the last time to embrace our loved ones. Four years ago, we said our final goodbyes to two grandparents as we left for our move to Thailand. Within a few years, they had passed into Heaven, and we felt so sad to not be there for our grieving family.
And now, since travelling to and from the States again, we have suffered the pain of discovering the news that, now, one more beloved grandparent and two uncles have passed while living overseas. I think we are finding that physical distance doesn't quite make things "easier" to cope with loss. Instead, the "every day" of here is more effective on keeping our minds off of grief...until we let ourselves (and force ourselves, sometimes) to really process our sadness.
If you would, please take a moment to pray for Treavor's grieving family and for Uncle David's friends who are missing him terribly. Pray for us, that we would grieve well and take time to let the emotions rise to bring resolution and healing.
And, for yourself, really hug and bless your family...your friends...the people you encounter in your daily life. None of us know when our last day will come. Let's live without regrets and love well today!