Friday, February 21, 2014

On a Personal Note...

February has been a blur so far! I swear after Christmas break we are on a mad dash to spring break then then  the crazy testing season begins! Whew! I'm exhausted just thinking about everything I have to get done!

Life here has been kind of crazy. On January 30,2014 I found out that my Uncle Jim who lives out here in AZ was sick and in the hospital. He was prematurely diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and so he decided to leave the hospital as he didn't want to sit and feel sorry for himself. He made an appointment with an oncologist for February 6,2014 and would decide what his course of treatment would be. Plans were made and plane tickets were bought from many of my family members. His daughter was able to come in to town quickly and was able to spend a few days filled with laughter and love. My Uncle Jim was a man who struggled with many things in life but loved to share the place he loved with the people he loved. Anytime there was a relative in town he would take them to every tourist spot around and then to the hidden gems he found along the way since moving out here in 1999. On February 5,2014 my uncle and cousins were supposed to come over for dinner but canceled the day before because they weren't sure if they would be able to have transportation. I figured it was for the best as I was exhausted from a long day at work. I figured I would just make plans to see them over the weekend. Well, that evening I was on the phone with my parents when they received a call that my uncle was rushed to the hospital with a massive heart attack. He passed away on the way to the hospital.  While I grieve the loss of a family member I am comforted to know that he died with all of his children around him, that he went on his "own" terms not needing to go through the horrible process of chemo therapy or have to ultimately rely on hospice during his final days.  His final day was spent eating, drinking and sightseeing with his family. In fact the photo above was actually taken just hours before he passed.  On February 9,2014th  my father and uncle flew out, originally with the intention to spend time with their brother and help him get his affairs in order. Obviously they were not able to do those things but came to help out his children deal with the funeral arrangements.  Uncle Jim was a simple man and didn't want any services but he wanted his ashes scattered somewhere in AZ and the rest sent back to Ohio to be buried with the rest of the family. It was an emotional moment being out in the desert listening to Jim's family and friend say their last respects to their father, brother, uncle and friend. I so wish that my father and uncle could have been in town just a few weeks earlier so they could have been able to have one last memory with him while he was alive but I truley believe everything happens for a reason. The rest of their trip was spent visiting local areas, hiking and helping me get my house cleaned up and ready for the next batch of  visitors near the end of March.

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