Growing up, my Uncle Chuck, the oldest of the bunch, always stood out from the rest. To the 8-year-old me, he seemed more responsible than the rest of the goofy guys. He dressed in suits at Christmas, was more careful with his words (at least around us kids), and seemed to listen with more ease than the rest of the bunch. While I loved the silly teasing that came from the men at family gatherings, when my Uncle Chuck talked to me, he asked more questions and waited to hear the answers. Watching him and his wife over the years was a true inspiration for me. They seemed SO perfect for each other, complimenting the other's personality and always seeming to genuinely enjoy each other and enjoy life together. I always hoped for such a happy marriage.
Uncle Chuck passed away yesterday after a valiant fight against cancer. I had been talking to my mother earlier in the day (when we knew things were grim) about how many people seem to be called Home during the Advent season: my grandmother, my husband's great-grandmother and cousin, and now my uncle. While this time of year will always be bittersweet to those of us who love and miss them, it is truly a special time to join Our Savior. It brings a new meaning to the words "I'll be Home for Christmas!"