Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Magical Moment

 I wrote this post last week and have been silent since.  As I still have very little words, I'm offering this up for Imperfect Prose. 

 Thursday has become my visiting day.  Every Thursday morning, I drop my oldest and the neighbour boy off at school, take my middle boy to dance class, after which I have tea with a friend.  Some days I lunch with my grandmother after the tea/playdate.  Today was one of the fuller Thursdays, one in which something magical occurred.

 My grandmother lives with one of her sons, the only one who never married.  Uncle Dennis and my father are only 13 months apart in age.  Growing up, they did everything together. My dad was even held back a grade so he could be with his brother and keep him in line.  Most of my dad's stories from when he was little start with "One time, me and Dennis..."  They were like peas in a pod.

 As they grew older, their paths diverged.  Responsibility seems bred into my dad. He quit school at 16 to work in a factory, worked hard on the family farm, and parented his youngest brother.  My uncle went a different way, falling in with a crowd that did drugs.  Family legend offers up several different versions of what happened next, but when he was 18 my uncle took(or was forcibly given) a massive overdose.  He should have died.  He didn't, but was left severely damaged.  I'm not sure if he's actually schizophrenic or if that's just the easiest way to describe it.  All of this happened long before my birth, so I have never known my uncle whole.

 Consequently, my uncle was never someone I or any of the cousins warmed up to.  But as an adult, I have been trying to be kind, to have a conversation with him while I'm there, even sometimes to offer a hug.  Lately my goal has been to make him smile even once during each visit.  Reminiscing about his adventures with my dad typically brings a smile to his face.  Something else did today.

 At dinner, my uncle sat next to my youngest.  During the meal, Kian would turn to my uncle and smile at him.  Kian put his feet on Dennis' legs or made faces at him.  At those times, I would see my uncle offer up a shy smile.  Then, just as we were leaving, I asked Kian if he would like to give my uncle a hug.  Without hesitation, Kian wrapped his arms around Dennis' legs.  Unexpectedly, Dennis reached down and swooped Kian up into his arms.  As he held my little boy, he had the biggest smile I have ever seen on his face. I can't even type this without crying as it was such a beautiful special moment.  My uncle has one of the most beautiful smiles I've ever seen, much like my father's.  He has so little reason to smile that when he does it is even more precious.

 I don't know how to finish this post. I'm bad at summing up.  But I must say that today's encounter causes me to yearn for Heaven because there my uncle will be whole.  His brain will be healed, he won't be scary anymore and he will have much to smile about.  It's easy to get wrapped up in this existence to the point that the thought of Jesus returning fills us with dread because we have so much to accomplish.  I've been asking God to make me hunger for my heavenly home(or I've been thinking I should ask-I can't remember which).  After today, I am a wee bit more homesick for heaven and filled with a desire to see my uncle, to see all of us, healed and perfect, the way we were originally meant to be.


  1. I feel this, too. I can't share because I'll cry and cry, but I long for heaven, too. I'm sick of feeling sad for lack of normal in my life.

  2. Wow. This was beautiful. This is my first time to your blog and the picture you painted brought tears to my eyes. The Lord uses children to bring about redemption. I have seen it many times. Thank you for sharing. And thank you for stopping by my blog. I look forward to reading more.

  3. Beautiful, moving post. Little children can go where others can't and in doing so, accomplish much. I've not yearned for heaven like you mentioned. You did make me think, though. :)

  4. I didn’t com by via link – I just shot by to read you.

    And your uncle – I never did drugs – but boy have I made a lot of mistakes – I have an older brother – the responsible one – I’ve always been a little more out of the box – until God finally reined me in. And heaven – you remind me of why I look forward to it – where everything bad is gone and everything good is better – and love rules all the time. I’m really glad I got a chance to come by today. I always heart your stuff.

    God bless and keep you and all of yours.

  5. I very much like the way you summed it up! That is beautiful, the whole thing. So beautiful that I have nothing to add :)

  6. grace, this is so very touching. so tender. thank you.

  7. i replied to your question on my blog but in case you don't look there...

    Ah, now THAT is a good question. Yes, hedgehogs are utterly adorable in the wild. I kind of hate rodents so they do nothing for me and don't even know what they are like when domesticated. But my housemates all assured me that the little buggers always pulled at their heartstrings. They sure do move slow, though!

  8. that's awesome! how very special. i've had family members that i didn't know when they were whole. i feel like i CAN"T wait to get to heaven either!!!!! thanks for sharing.

    i just saw the comment above. i used to have a hedgehog for a pet. she had 3 babies when i didn't even know she was prego!!

    nice to meet you says one boo bear mama to the other :)

  9. That is so beautiful. Don't moments like that just make you want to camp out and worship God. It's almost as if you got a peek into heaven. I'm just so happy for you. My uncle wasn't mentally ill but he was an unhappy alcoholic. I stil remember the one and only time he ever said I love you back to me. It's a precious memory.

  10. A beautiful post. Makes me cry to read it.

  11. beautiful. this made me cry. :)
    Blessings to you.