With a family as large and as spread out as mine, it's easy to drift past one another lose contact or never even engage with one another. But it was different with my uncle Rayford. He grabbed ahold and held on tight. He made sure we were kept aware of the families goings on, and every so often we kept in contact to make sure everyone was okay. He was often the first to celebrate with us and quick to share with us his joy.
I found out yesterday that he passed away. I've been searching for images I had of him to share. Often times these are the only things we carry with us once a person has passed on. Each image holds a different memory. Funny how hair styles and outfits take a back seat at times like these, but the remembered moments of laughter or weirdness can oft times lift a hurting heart. I don't have many images of Uncle Rayford, but these few remind me of the way he embraced us, and cared after us. I am also realizing that I am too often missing in the images I have with the people I love. Don't let busy-ness keep you from missing out on the things that may one day be your greatest treasured memories.
In the last few years we have buried friends, clients, grandparents, mentors, uncles, cousins... It seems as if we can't turn around without grief waiting for us. And we do grieve. We grieve because we are separated from those we love and care for. And there is a time to grieve. Yet at the end of our grief, for there is truly an end, we hold on to hope that one day we will be reunited.
I am glad to have been embraced by a man determined to love me as family. I will miss my uncle Rayford. I know he is resting now. To my family, I pray for peace. May the God of comfort be close in the name of Jesus, Amen.