Today we gathered together with my mother's family (the Evans family) to celebrate the life and grieve the loss of my Great Uncle Russ. He was the patriarch of our family, a God-fearing, Christ centered man...he adored his wife and LOVED his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. He was bigger than life.
It was a wonderful time to see many family members that I have not seen in quite a long time and to introduce many of them to Brock and the boys. However, the day was more difficult than I had prepared myself for. Upon hearing the news that Uncle Russ had passed I was filled with sadness for my Aunt Lois and my cousins who were so very close to their grandfather, but at the same time I was able to rejoice that this man who had worked hard all of his life and had loved the Lord the majority of his life was able to go HOME to be with our Heavenly Father and reunited with loved ones.
However, in this time of sorrow and reflection with family, I began to think about my Grandpa Hoot. I miss him greatly and am often surprised that after fifteen years since his death I am still overcome by sadness at certain times, sometimes when I least expect it. Grief is a mysterious emotion...often it sneaks up on a person and washes over her like a wave, filling her with pain and sorrow for a short period of time then silently disappearing for months, even years before returning uninvited. In the same way the Spirit of Peace can flood into one's heart unexpectantly when It is needed the most, bringing a sense of calm and comfort at just the perfect moment.
I know the weeks and months ahead will be very difficult for my family, but I am so strangely excited for Uncle Russ and Grandpa Hoot that they get to be together again...with Jesus, their very personal saviour who saved them from their sins and turned them from a life of shenanigans!! (and trust me...I've heard some stories!!)