Sunday, April 08, 2007

With everything that's been going on lately, it was a pleasant surprise to have a nice - if hectic - weekend. My little sister Resa is relatively newly engaged. I can finally post that on this blog because all my relatives who read this and didn't know the news now know the news. Resa and her fiance Nick have been together for two years and we love love love him, so we're very happy to welcome him to the family. Resa and Nick also recently bought a house just a couple miles northwest of us in Chicago - one of those adorable bungalows. There was a lot of work to be done when they moved in, but they are rolling full speed ahead. It's amazing. Rob and I keep looking around at our place, which we moved into way back in December, then looking at Resa and Nick's place, and feeling wildly inadequate. We are hoping to paint our downstairs big, open room in the next few weeks so we'll stop feeling so lazy.

That digression was triggered by the fact that Nick's family was in town this weekend, helping Resa and Nick do some significant work in their kitchen, along with some rewiring. We were happy to be able to pop in to see them a couple times over the last few days. It's very exciting that they'll soon be family. Then Sunday we got to head out to the suburbs to visit some of the Minariks in the area for Easter. It is always fun to watch all of my cousins' kids run around for an afternoon.

The unspoken part of the last several days, and even Sunday really, has been my Uncle Jon. I found an old picture in a photo album I have of my mom and dad, my dad's five brothers, my dad's sister, and my dad's mom. It's clearly from the mid-1970s, so everyone is decked out in awesome outfits. And my Uncle Jon is right there in the middle. I told Rob the other day that I can't quite wrap my head around the fact that my Uncle Jon isn't with us any more. It is still inconceivable. Everything happened so quickly that I never saw him when he was ill. Maybe that would have made it more real.

Most of my family have very deeply held Catholic convictions. So there is a lot of discussion among family members right now about this being the right time for Uncle Jon to die. I wonder if I were Catholic if I'd feel that way. I suppose on some level I can see the logic in that perspective about death, but I can't get myself to subscribe to it personally. I have been lucky not to face the loss of too many loved ones in my life, but never at any of those times have I been able to find peace in the idea that the person had lived all they needed to live. I have always found much injustice in the fact that there was always so much more for that person to experience. That's not to say that the loss of those important to us doesn't end up serving a purpose -- we probably learn more from loss than any other single moments in our lives. But that can't be enough to get to the conclusion that it is the right time for someone to die. That involves a type of belief that I just don't have.

That is the long update on how life is with the recent loss of an uncle, at least for me. I am very sad. I can't even say I miss my uncle because I don't yet understand that he's gone, if that makes any sense at all. But I understand that something is gone, that something is lost, and I am not looking forward to my feelings as this becomes more real.

Rob and I are heading to DC for the funeral in just a couple days. Perhaps that's when it will start to be more real.

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