Wednesday, December 24, 2008

much love, from your grieved niece

Last night, my Uncle Royce died. Today, he lives.

He became so ill so fast. But that's over now. From now on, for eternity, he'll only know peace and joy and fun. He'll only be happy. He'll only ever smile, though he did quite a lot of that while here. He'll spend his days in glory and his nights will never again come.

Uncle Royce was a tall man, with straight posture and warm hugs. He always smelled like fresh soap and dignity. He talked softly and walked evenly. I knew him as stability, as the calm, cool presence in every kind of situation. He could sit so perfectly still. And in that stillness hold such ease. I never knew how he did that. I'm the fidgety type.

I have no memory, not one, of a moment he ever acted out in anger or selfishness. I've searched my brain. But even the thought of Uncle Royce being anything but kind stops short. He wasn't.

He walked a lot. I always admired that. His long legs took him to many places in many hearts. His knit shirt would be tucked neatly into his pressed slacks, his walking shoes laced securely, and off he went into his world of contentment.

One day, he met Shirley. And within an instant, a fire burned inside of him from then on. I never saw it dim, not even a moment, not ever with time. They giggled together. And I know he took some of that laughter with him.

I've tried to mourn for him, but I can't. I've only shed tears for myself, for Aunt Shirley, for my father, for my family, for all the souls my uncle touched. We lost something. He, however, has found it.

I have no way of knowing what he did today, though I'm terribly curious. But I know he saw his son again, finally, after 20-plus years of being apart, they finally embraced. And I know he met the Savior, perhaps sat at his feet, ever so calmly, ever so still, ever so much like only Uncle Royce could.

And then, just maybe, he took a walk. His long legs, stronger now, took him down the streets of gold, wearing his knit shirt tucked neatly into his pressed slacks with his shoes laced securely.

Today, Uncle Royce found life.


kristin said...

This is a beautiful eulogy... tears well up as I think of his reunion with his son and other family... and his face-to-face conversations with Jesus. Knowing your gentlemanly uncle is with Jesus today... what an awesome Christmas gift for your entire family.
And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints. Psalm 89:5 (King James)

Anonymous said...

some random internet event led me to your blog, and your Uncle Royce. Thanks for sharing.