My Uncle Frankie passed away last Saturday. I had just been thinking about him earlier that day wondering about his health; he was well into his 80s and his health had been deteriorating. He was one of my favorite uncles. I never tired of the same corny jokes or life stories he told whenever our families got together.
For years now, I have become the point of contact for my family, so when I received the call about Uncle Frankie’s death, I called the rest of the family. But I had a dilemma: my sister Michelle and I have been estranged from one another for longer than I care to mention and for reasons I cannot remember. Our silence lasted months then years and inaction seemed easier even though I thought about her often and missed her deeply; I longed to talk to her. Should I call her about Uncle Frankie or continue our silence?
I called, left a message with as much information as I had and then waited.
It was lovely to hear Michelle’s voice two days later and it immediately filled my heart with tenderness. We caught up on the major events that occurred in our lives since we last saw each other. She’d seen some of the fitness photos I’d posted on my blog, and we reminisced about our aerobic craze to keep fit, fad diets and the nicknames we had for each other as we lost weight.
As we talked about the lifestyle I have created for myself, it got me to thinking how critical it is to have enriching, supportive relationships as part of an overall balanced healthy life. My relationship with her has brought a tremendous amount of joy over the years and also a lot of pain and angst but my life is surely richer and more complete experiencing the range of emotions and issues with her in my life than without.
I am terribly sad that my Uncle Frankie passed away, but I will be forever grateful that it gave me and my sister a new beginning. I look forward to writing the next chapter of my life that includes her and her family.