Gone But Not Forgotten
My mom’s oldest brother was my favorite uncle. He passed away a few weeks ago from complications of an inoperable tumor. Although he was sick for some time his death was sudden. He had so much good left in him to share with others, but I know he’s in a peaceful place now. He left behind my aunt Diane, brothers and sisters, nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles. He had no children. Throughout everything, my mom has been surprisingly strong, but seeing her pain as she quietly cried at the service was particularly hard to witness.
When my mom told me my uncle passed I knew the realization that he was was gone was something she wouldn’t have to struggle with. We knew he was sick, but not the extent of his illness. We didn’t get to see him before he died, however mom talked to him on the phone for as long as he could muster just a few days before his passing. He made sure she knew how much he loved her and a few days later he was gone. I was so sad, but I knew that my sorrow couldn’t compare to how mom must have been feeling.
My uncle was a very gentle man with a deep seated spirit that centered around helping those in need. He reminded me so much of my grandmother with his sensitivity and kindness. He was quiet yet forceful and as a doctor he dedicated his life to helping others and assisting them in making important decisions about their well being. He devoted his livelihood to making a positive impact on peoples lives.
His passing, coupled with reconnecting with my moms side of the family while at his memorial, has given me renewed resolve. To live and love more than I have previously is a concerted effort I am gladly making. I tell my brothers and sisters just how much I care about them. I take five minutes out of my day to embrace my sappy side. More complementing, less criticizing, and lots of hugs and kisses passed around. You just never know when you’ll get to do those things again, so life has taken on a slightly altered meaning. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone.
I wrote this poem in honor of my uncle.
In Loving Memory: Milton David Watkins M.D. (1950-2009)
Love Never Dies
We hold a gem in our hearts
And think of him with love today
But that is nothing new
Kind – loving – generous
Playful and adventurous
He was full of laughter
With a spirit fun-filled
And that’s the way we’ll always remember
Dear uncle Milton
On the day you changed our family’s life
A 9-year-old’s heart swelled with pride
I never got to tell you that
You became my hero for life
Thank you for sending that white butterfly our way
You’re resting in peace with grandma now
Your body is gone but your spirit lives on
Strong while alive you spread your wings wide
And touched each and every one of us
Until the day we cross over too
Family won’t be complete
Although your bright light shines no more
We wish you the sweetest adieu
For with every tear shed
And every smile shared
We take this moment
To honor you
image by Rach