Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Uncle Brant

Tonight around 10:25 pm, my dear Uncle Brant was greeted by the other side.  He, no doubt, has been enveloped into the arms of his Mother and Father-in-law, my Great Grandma and Grandpa Bennion and my Nana. . . . I am also hoping that not too long after those joyous reunions, he will be seeking out and holding my little Robin for me.
Today has made me reflect.
I have spent all day at the hospital with my family and extended family and my Aunt Marilyn's family. 
Isn't this the way it should be?
Shouldn't we all be able to bid farewell at the closing of our lives (whether it be due to old age or something sudden as my Uncle's untimely passing) to all of our loved ones?
This is it.
This is part of the plan.
Reflecting on the relationship I have had with my Uncle throughout the years, I have been so blessed to be able to count myself lucky that I have known my Uncle Brant.  I have always thought of him as my sweet, super nerdy, Uncle with a will of iron.  You wouldn't know it by looking at him, but this man is a fighter.  From enduring and beating cancer on his mission, to enduring life with a weak heart, and then surviving being run over and dragged by a boat launcher and then having blood clots perforate his intestines and never complaining. . . . . this man had a will of iron.  He silently endured and fought to the bitter end.  He LOVED to tell jokes and could come up with a joke at the drop of a hat.
His pants may have been too high, and his shirt may have stayed perpetually untucked, but that's what made him so unique.  I loved listening to Uncle Brant's stories and listen to him tease people.  I admired that he was able to get his PhD in Engineering and travel all over the world to do consulting.  He had a brilliant engineering mind and I love that he was such good friends with my Otto.
My Uncle was there for everything that I would invite him to.  He stood in the circle as I blessed my first baby.  He played with all of my children and gave them piggy back rides and did Rocky Road with them.  He would always tell me how good my food was that I made for family gatherings.  I loved how he often spilled his drink at dinner or how he would light up whenever he talked about the cabin.
This year, the year after his big accident, Otto and I had the priviledge of playing with my Uncle Brant and Aunt Marilyn and Alex for a day at the cabin the first day they went out.  It was so much fun to tease Uncle Brant about his boat docking skills with the new boat and to watch him as he showed us all of the cool compartments in his new boat.  It was so much fun to be screaming for my lfe as my Uncle Brant took my cousin, Alex and I on one of the most scary tube rides of my life so that we could officially christen the boat.  I loved listening to Uncle Brant's grand plans for his projects at the cabin.  He would look almost giddy as he talked about all of the projects he wanted to complete on the cabin.    He loved that cabin so much and he loved being there with his friends and his family.  I can't think of a more perfect way for my Uncle Brant to spend his last month of his life than at the one place he loved most in this world. . . . the cabin.
I think that one of the best things that I have learned from my Uncle Brant was how a marriage should work.  Watching his relationship with my Aunt has taught me that soulmates really do exist.  She absolutely adores my Uncle and she is his best friend.  I know that the hardest part for him when he was passing away would have been leaving my Aunt Marilyn, but I also know that he will always be close by for her.  I truly believe that my Uncle Brant will be near to my Aunt Marilyn until the time that it is her turn to join him on the other side.  I think of what a joyous reunion it will be and it brings me comfort at this time.
So today, as I reflect on my sweet Uncle Brant (he would hate that I am calling him sweet) I think about how lucky I am to have had such a man in my life.  What better thing can you say about someone than that your life has improved because you knew them?  That is exactly what I think about my Uncle.
I do not mourn for my Uncle Brant.
I mourn for myself and for his family.
I know that my Uncle will no longer feel pain.
I cannot wait until I get to see him again.
I love you Uncle Brant.  I will do my best to make you proud of me.  Take care of my little Angel Baby until I get there ok?