Many of you know my Uncle Joel, either because I post pictures of him when we visit, or because you’ve met him or I’ve told you about him. He loves to have his picture taken and is a great poser for the camera! You can see that from this picture can’t you? **smile**
I really didn’t know how else to title this one, but honoring seemed to be the correct lead in. Uncle Joel is dying. It appears that he has end-stage cancer that has spread in multiple tumors inside his abdominal area to his stomach lining. They found out a week ago, and it is already so bad that there is nothing they can do for him and they have called in Hospice.
Uncle Joel has been mentally disabled his entire life, but he has been loved. My grandmother was told to put him in a home, as many did back then, but she refused and kept him by her side until she passed away. After that, my Aunt Shirley has cared for him and they are very close. But everyone loves Uncle Joel. He is a “good old soul” as I call him and even though his disability manages to beam love and joy at everyone he meets.
It’s hard for me to hear about and see this happen to him. Some of his medical condition symptoms, I now recognize because that’s what I saw with Erin. As you can imagine, it brings up both sorrow and guilt since I didn’t know she was dying. But Uncle Joel is special, and while I could refuse, I plan to come help him on his way out of his current body. I really do not want to do that anymore, but I think I have some sort of destiny with it anyway. I don’t want him to be afraid, but he is going to die. So I’m asking you all to send him lots of LOVE, and HUGS and even some KISSES. But don’t send thoughts and prayers for him to live, because that isn’t his destiny. His spirit already told me it is time for a new body, even though we love the one he has right now just fine.
I will see him soon this week and plan to replace the I Love You voice box in the build-a-bear that Erin gave him. The bear’s name is Catfish and the voice box ran out of steam the night that Erin died. I thought maybe it would give him comfort to hear it say I Love You again. My cousin Kimberly has scheduled him an Elvis impersonator. Uncle Joel has loved Elvis all of his life and still sings Elvis songs and “plays the guitar” along with him. She’s also going to try to get him a ride in a Ferrari. Who knew that he liked those?! Since their move to Alpharetta, GA, he has commented on them every time they pass the dealership.
I hope that Uncle Joel gets to experience a lot of joy and fun in his last days. It wasn’t always practical to take him certain places or do certain things over the course of his life, but if I have learned anything it’s to use the time that you have. Maybe it’s a blessing that Aunts Ernie and Shirley are able to spend time with him during his last days and know what is coming. Yes, it is painful for them but perhaps a blessing, too. I hope so anyway.
I love you Uncle Joel and wish you a painless and light-filled transition! <3