Last week was an interesting week for our family and today has been a rough one for me. My Dad's Uncle Don, the last of the siblings on his mother's side passed away. In fact Don was the last Aunt or Uncle on either side. He was such a hard worker, told wonderful stories, and carried deeply for others. He will be missed. And we are looking forward to a joyful reunion on the other side when that time comes.
And my Mom's Uncle Al passed away. This is a photo of me with him about 11 years ago while I was serving in the Washington D.C. North Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His son got married to a girl who I had gone on splits with in my first area. He gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek in the waiting room in the temple and my Japanese companion about passed out. The last time I saw Uncle Al was in the San Diego Temple in June 2009 - 7 months ago. He lived long enough to see his brother, my grandpa, go to the temple to be sealed to grandma for time and all eternity. I am grateful that is the last place I saw him.
And I wish I had a photo of the last one. Bruce Evans. I went to his funeral today. He was a big part of my Dad's life. He was such a spiritual guide to my father, such an example. We met Bruce while living in Panama. At the time he was in the Intelligence division. He used to sing all the parts to different Operas at get togethers until at least half of us little kids spit ice cream out of our noses. I sat and listened as Bruce and my Dad taught the missionary discussions to Vicki Bishop (a helicopter pilot who worked with my Dad) and her daughter Patti (who was 9 and I was 8) so that they could get baptized. When we moved to Dugway, my Dad kind of talked Bruce's family into moving there too, big homes for his big family, oh and by the way Bruce is supposed to be bishop there too. He was now a JAG officer. And guess what, 6 months later Bruce was called as Bishop and my Dad was called as 1st Counselor. My family wouldn't be what it is today without Bruce's influence. To his sweet wife Connie and his 11 children, we love you. Thanks for sharing him with us. And thank you for moving to Dugway. May your lives continue to be blessed. The last time I saw my Dad cry the way he did today was when I was diagnosed with cancer, but I also saw him laugh and smile today too. So many good memories...
Anyway, I will definitely need some time to process all of this. I didn't cry until today and I didn't realize I needed to until now. Pretty soon I'll be back to my old self, as soon as I figure out what I can do to help those who have lost those they love. My parents fly out tonight for Uncle Al's funeral. I appreciate those who watched my son today so I could go. I know that families are forever and that there is a loving God who has made it possible for us to be together again.