I was talking to my mom today (Sunday) when another call came on her line—my aunt with news. My uncle (my mom’s younger brother and my aunt’s older brother) had passed out in his backyard. I talked to my dad while Mom called various siblings on her cell phone to gain more information. We soon found out that my uncle had had a massive heart attack.
As soon as I hung up, I texted my younger brother and sister-in-law to let them know what was going on. My sister-in-law called five minutes later. While we talked, another call came on her line. This time, it was Mom with news no one wants to hear: my uncle had died.
My brother, sister-in-law, and I quickly drove to my aunt’s (about an hour away), where we found her in shock. She kept saying, “I can’t believe this. We just went to the doctor. He had a clean bill of health. I just can’t believe this.” Over and over.
My uncle had gone out to mow the lawn. But when my aunt didn’t hear the lawn mower, she took a look out back and saw him lying on the grass. She said he looked as if he were resting. After screaming his name, she called 911 as she tried to revive him. An ambulance arrived within five minutes. But by the time they arrived at the nearest hospital, my uncle was dead.
We’re all a bit numb now. My uncle was only eight years older than me, my mom being the oldest in her large family. And as far as we knew, he had no history of heart disease. Our only consolation is that he didn’t suffer. It all happened so quickly.
You just never know when life will throw you a curve like that. All of the silly squabbling our family has engaged in over the years seems totally foolish now. We wasted so much precious time arguing.
I wasn’t going to write anything, because my heart is heavy right now. But I felt like I had to write this post to say that life is too short for petty arguments or misunderstandings people are too stubborn or prideful to clear up. At a funeral, you can’t clear those things up. It’s too late then.
There’s no guarantee that tomorrow is yours to have. But you have today. And today, you can do a lot to make amends, to tell someone you love him or her. Please don’t assume you have all the time in the world. I made that assumption in regard to my uncle. And now I have his funeral to attend.
Clematis from botanicalgarden.ubc.ca.