My Uncle Ray passed away this morning. He's my mom's cousin's husband. He's been in a hospice for a couple weeks, and his passing was not a surprise, except that I had stopped by home about an hour ago to call to see if it might be a good time for a visit. That's when I got my Mom's voice mail.
I was down to see him on Thursday last week. What I'm somewhat regretful of is that I had intended to see him on Sunday, but didn't organize things so that it would happen.
You hear time and time again: "Don't put it off, there may not be a tomorrow." And there may not be.
The one memory of Uncle Ray that sticks vividly in my mind is what he did for me when I was ten. My grandpa George, my Mom's dad, passed away that year. I was very close to him, and was an absolute wreck come the day of his funeral to the point I couldn't go to his service. Uncle Ray took it upon himself to take me for a drive instead. While we drove around small-town Lacombe, Alberta, he helped me understand the nature of life and death, and that even though we may not be here forever, our spirit lives on.
I didn't ever have any real bonding moments with Uncle Ray quite like that one, except for two glasses of scotch we'd shared - each on seperate occasions.
I will always remember him for his firm and upright character, uproarious sense of humour and gentle good nature.
This photo shows Uncle Ray at the head of the table. I borrowed it from a previous blog post in June when my cousin Fred and our family met in Bragg Creek for an outting.