My dear sister was married for only 2 months when her husband was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 23. She was more nurse than newlywed for the next year and few months, and the week before she turned 24 she was a widow. That was in 1998 and we still feel the heaviness of missing Uncle Keith.
On a positive note, we now have an Uncle Chris, introduced by Keith's mutual friend to my sister the following year. We can't imagine life any other way than to have my sister, her (new) husband, and their two kids at every family gathering. However, the lesson has been learned...life is fragile and we need to enjoy all of the time that we do have together because we don't know what tomorrow will bring. I firmly believe that God is in control; we just don't always know how He is going to work things out.
So this week I was discussing with my sixteen year old daughter that I was beginning to regret spending money on tickets for the July 4th celebration at the Museum of Science in Boston. I was blabbering on about spending our money more responsibly, blah blah blah, and she said, "Mom, do I really have to play the Uncle Keith card with you?" I can't remember what I answered, but the lesson sunk home again. And I'm so glad to see proof that our values are being passed down to our children. I will gladly participate in another family outing to Boston, and my wish for you is for you to enjoy your family and friends and the blessings shared every day!