10:52 AM

We received a shocking phone call yesterdays morning. They said my Uncle Ken had died the night before, on Christmas night. We were stunned. To our knowledge, he hadn’t been sick or anything. When they lived in Rochester, their family would be with ours for every Christmas and Thanksgiving meal.

I’ve had a day and a night to allow this to soak in. The thought of it scares me. It can happen anytime. You can spend the entire day with family, celebrating and being joyful, and then bang, you are in another place.

But as I’ve thought about it, that might be exactly the way I’d want to go. If you were to tell me today is my day, what would I want to do? I’d want to get as many of my family and friends as I could together and celebrate. And then I’d want to go quick. So as much as my aunt and their family are hurting right now, they got to spend the last day, the last minutes, with Uncle Ken in happy moments. Once the pain subsides, I think the memories will be great because of that.

The man who always had the grey moustache. The man that could train a dog like no other. The handy man. The computer man. The man of the clams casino. And for some reason right now, I remember their house in Rochester, down the street from my basketball coach. Their backyard that ran up to the apple orchards. It was Thanksgiving, the year Jason Garrett was filling in for Troy Aikman against the Packers. He went off. I remember their kitchen with all of our family and tons of food. Auntie who is now hanging with Uncle Ken was there. Their fireplace was booming and I was in front of it, on the floor, passed out from overeating.

All of this teaches me, you have to take each day and live it to the fullest. Show and tell the people you love that you love them. The sands of our hourglass are dripping downward and we don’t know when it will run out. I will end it with a quote that is downstairs. “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming, ‘Wow, what a ride!!!’”

Peace to my Uncle Ken.