Monday, June 18, 2012

eyes to see...

Uncle Elmer died this morning...
i had something all ready to post about Father's day - but now i find that the thought of Elmer sitting down in heaven - receiving his sight - is all encompassing. 

Elmer - i hope that God will tell you how you deeply and profoundly you impacted my life, and the lives of so many others.  i hope that He will smile at you and say, "Ah, Elmer - you played your part so beautifully - i am so pleased with your faithfulness..."
i hope you enjoy the richness of sight and the fullness of joy... we love you. 

Here is a repost to honour Elmer. 


Uncle Elmer called tonight.
He calls quite a bit - usually at supper time & i find myself frequently getting the children to talk to him as i go about getting the meal on the table & quieting a noisy babe.
Uncle Elmer is Neil's uncle. He played a starring role in the play that is the beginning of our marriage. i credit uncle Elmer a lot for the tender man my husband is. Children, those with special needs & the elderly all feel at ease with my husband- he initiates conversation & draws them out, into comfortable territory. Uncle Elmer & i are kindred musical spirits - when we lived in Manitoba, i would go to play at the Care Center and Elmer would bring his harmonica & play on every song. When i would go home, he would phone & we would play over the phone. He would be disgusted when i didn't know a specific hymn- it seemed he knew them all.
When Neil's Gramma - who was still so needed by Elmer - had a stroke and moved into the personal care home, we had fun filling in a little tiny bit of the absence that was so keenly felt by Elmer. We got to go for supper at the Manor, i learned how to cut his hair & trim his eyebrows. We went for coffee & Cai would practice all her new vocabulary on him - much to his delight. He still remembers the time someone asked her her name & she answered, "Pancake". We found something worthwhile doing, in visiting & getting to know Neil's amazing family (& i'm not using the word amazing lightly) - while just learning to be a family ourselves.
Uncle Elmer has an uncanny memory. He remembers hundreds of birthdays - & loves to be tested on his knowledge. But, when i first lost Caleb - it made every conversation with him painful. i dreaded the moment when he would say, "But, Paige, your baby just died. Didn't your baby die? You should have another baby, but he went and died..."
i fought fury, pain & tears - i begged him not to talk about Caleb, i got Neil to talk to him about it too- but to no avail. Invariably the next time we visited he would bring up our little one whose absence tore my heart in two - my little one who i couldn't talk to anyone about - hardly even Neil - for years after his loss. Casually he would mention him - and his death - and another woman who he knew had lost a baby. Sometimes when i was expecting Sloanie, he would say, "And now maybe this one won't die on you... Maybe now, you will have 2 babies."
And with each darling child we added to our little brood, he would remind me, now you have 3, 4 or 5... but there should be 1 more, shouldn't there?
Over years... many, many, many years - my memories of Caleb became a little less painful. i learned how to open that little part of my heart & not feel like i hated the person who mentioned his name. i learned that he was a gift - & i learned to cherish his memory & the gift that God gave me when He gave me those 16 short weeks. Slowly i learned to forgive myself for all the regrets i had surrounding his birth - & my wish to be able to somehow go back in time and magically have the knowledge i needed to save him gradually became acceptance - that my son was with God - & he was safe there.
So tonight Elmer called.
We had a nice long talk.
Finally he said, "Paige, you have 4 girls and 2 boys, but you should have one more."
"Two more, Elmer," i corrected him, "i have 2 babies in heaven now."
It didn't hurt that he remembered. Suddenly, he was my best friend - remembering my tender child with me. What joy that someone else remembered with me.
"i guess you don't have to worry about those two anymore."
"No, Elmer. i don't have to worry about those precious two anymore."
"They say when i sit down in heaven i won't be blind anymore."
"No, won't that be neat?"
"Ya - ...& i guess you'll have your babies again."



mamalena said...

Sweet and poignant memories....but a powerful and joyfull future beginning today. I'm happy for him!

mamazee said...

So sorry for your loss, but happy for your Elmer...

Anonymous said...

HI Paige,

Thank-you for posting this...I never got to meet Uncle Elmer but feel through your writing that he has touched my heart tonight. I am glad that now he will see. Someday...we will all see....

lola said...

I hope you are full of happy memories.


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