When my Dad remarried we gained a whole new family, Lisa's family. They are and always have been wonderful. They accepted me and Shannon with open arms and never made us feel as though we didn't belong. Lisa's parents became our Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Jim.
When we would go with my Dad and Lisa we would stay at Uncle Jim and Aunt Dorothy's house. Aunt Dorothy would usually leave us some kind of yummy treat in our room for us to find when we got there. She always made sure we had fun things to do at her house and yummy food to eat while we were there. Uncle Jim was always in charge of the drinks, and was always quick to ask us all about the things we were involved in.
He was a caring man, so kind and thoughtful. He was always great for conversation and he was very very funny.
Alzheimer's is a horrible disease, and Uncle Jim became a victim of it. He would still try to hold conversations with us through the disease and you could sense his frustration of not being able to find the right words to say. Yet he would still try.
One of my fondest memories of one of the last times we saw Uncle Jim is of him playing the piano while the children sat next to him on the bench. Even though the disease was taking over his mind he was still able to play a tune on the piano, and boy could he play. He played with such energy and spirit. The kids loved hearing him that day, as did we.
The Lord took Uncle Jim home yesterday. His symptoms recently got worse and it was a just a matter of weeks. We are rejoicing that he is whole again, yet we grieve because we miss him dearly. He will be spending this Christmas with the very Savior whose birth we celebrate.
Pray for Aunt Dorothy as she says good-bye to her beloved, and for Lisa and Erich who say good-bye to their dad. He truly was a wonderful man.