Saturday, September 10, 2011

in memory.

today is such a bittersweet day for me.

a very pure, sweet, and tender part of my life left the earth early this morning to be with God.

he is my sweet, sweet uncle bedell. great uncles are usually seen as distant relatives... rarely are they so special as mine is to me. my heart is heavy and free at the same time today - there is such beauty in that paradox.

i loved my uncle bedell so much. he was my grandfather's brother. my grandfather (papaw) died suddenly and unexpectedly before i was even born, and my uncle bedell has been my connection to my papaw since i was a little girl... people get the same look in their face when they talk about either of them. they described them as respected men, honorable, and always level-headed and calm. i searched so hard all my life to see my papaw in uncle bedell, and what i found was an amazing man who leaves an incredible legacy. he makes me so proud to be his family.

uncle bedell lived a wonderful life... he married a sweet lady (my aunt iris - who loved and cared for him always), had kids, and was a truly respected man.

everything changed when he was diagnosed with parkinson's disease... my worst nightmare. i watched my sweet uncle change physically... he was still the amazing man inside, but his body made it so difficult for him. one of his doctors actually said that he was sharp as a tack in his brain, but the disease was taking over him physically... it's still very difficult for me to comprehend why this happened to him... and jokes about the disease prick my heart and make me cringe.

he and his wife lived in a retirement home together for years. his disease then progressively worsened to where they had to have separate rooms so he could have more care. the disease eventually got so severe that he had to be moved to a facility across town with increased care and supervision and be bound to a wheelchair. he lived away from his wife... but she visited him regularly.

there is so much sadness in my heart today... but there is also great, great joy. my uncle bedell is no longer suffering from parkinson's. he passed away in his sleep, and he is in a new body... no pain, no suffering. he can finally have rest and freedom...

and i know i will get to see him again.

he was SUCH a handsome young man.

this was after my senior year of high school. he and aunt iris came over to give me my graduation present. im so glad i was so addicted to taking pictures back then. he looks great here.

this is uncle bedell and aunt iris.

love him.

this is my sister, chrissy, and uncle bedell

this is casey, uncle bedell, and aunt iris

one of my greatest dreams came true this night. uncle bedell got to attend my wedding last december. you can see that im trying to push back tears as my emotions start to get to me.

i was so incredibly thankful for this moment with my sweet uncle. the best gifts are the ones with no price tag... nothing could touch this sweet moment of my life with him.

i miss you so much. ill keep your memory alive, and im thrilled to be able to tell my children about the amazing man you were. im so sorry you had to suffer for so long, but there are no words to describe how thankful i am that you are finally free. in this bittersweet moment for me, i remind myself that your story has the best ending.


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss. Your Uncle sounded like an amazing man, I'm glad you had him in your life xx

  2. God Bless You. We loved your tribute. I shared it with mom. She cried, you have the soul of a poet. She would like to tell you. "She loves you and appreciate so much what you wrote. God loves you and I love you. Please visit if you ever have time." Thank You.
    Roger and Iris Hightower