11 March 2009

Uncle Arvin

My mom's big brother passed away on Sunday morning. She told me earlier in the week that he'd been moved to the hospice. He requested no services. He was 76 years old.

I love Uncle Arvin. I never got used to calling him Uncle Frank, as he wanted to be called in his later years. But that is what I heard (in my mind / in my ear?) as I lie waking up, in that half asleep, half awake place, at 8 on Sunday morning, "Frank's gone." That's it. As I pushed away the slumber to contemplate it's meaning, I sorta knew.

My favourite memory of Arvin was the time, oh, I was about 7 or 8, we came over to Memaw's house, and after we walked in Uncle crept from out of the shadows and knocked on the screen door and said to Memaw, "You locking me out?" She had no idea he was coming to see her and she was so surprised. She laughed and cried. It was how I remember his sense of humour, his easy, subtle playfulness, very much like Papaw's. I always love the stories of him spending his halcyon days on the roof of his parents garage and recording the numbers of the airplanes that flew over. And that when he became a small plane pilot and took us all up for a ride, his airplane's call letters included a "W" and the phonetic word for "W" is Whisky which Memaw found no charm in.

I pray for his peaceful passing and for all those who loved him to find strength and peace of mind in having had the privilege of knowing him.

I happened on these three poems on Sunday and I thought they seemed fitting to the day.

The Clock of Life ~Robert H. Smith

The clock of life is wound but once and no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop, at late or early hour.

To lose one's wealth is sad indeed, to lose one's health is more,
To lose one's soul is such a loss that no man can restore.

The present only is our own, so live, love, toil with a will,
Place no faith in tomorrow -- for the clock may then be still.

Death ~Harry Scott Holland 1847-1915

Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that we still are. Call me by my old familiar name. Speak to me in the easy way that you always used. Put no difference in your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Pray, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of a shadow on it. Life means all the it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well.

I'm Free ~Shannon Moseley

Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free. I'm following the path God chose for me.
I took His hand when I heard Him call. I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day to laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way. I've now found peace at the end of day.
If my parting has left a void, then fill it with remembered joys.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss; Ah yes, these things I, too, will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow. Look for the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life's been full, I savored much; Good friends, good times, a loved one's touch.
Perhaps my time seems all too brief. Don't lengthen your pain with undo grief.
Lift up your heart and peace to thee. God wanted me now. He set me Free.

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