Saturday, April 22, 2006


Today was my uncle Tommy's funeral here in Spokane. He was released- and it was a release for him- from this life on Thursday last week, just a few days after we visited.

It was rough in a good way watching the slide show of pictures from his life. One in particular stuck in my mind, though there were a bunch of great ones. In this pic, he's sitting at a kitchen table with an enormous pumpkin, his arm up to the elbow in it, and he's smiling as he nearly always was. Tom was "handsome in a boyish way"- maybe whoever invented that phrase had met him with his twinkly eyes and slightly rounded cheeks.

As he's working on the pumpkin, his son Bradley at about age 8 is hanging on his arm, looking rapturous into the depths of the gourd. It's such a sweet little moment, and I never saw Tom or Candy any other way with Brad. They would drive all day, arrive at our house tired, and still jump up when Brad wanted to go outside or play some ball. Tom would endlessly repeat inside jokes he had with Brad- and for the pleasure of everyone he knew, for that matter.

At the funeral today folks kept standing up to say what a funny, well-liked man my uncle was. Somebody mentioned that Brad needed a special dad to help him with his challenges. Too bad the word is over-used, but Uncle Tom was absolutely special- spectacular, actually. There was another pic of he and Candy with a baby Brad in one of those Olin Mills studio shots, and they are smiling with such unrehearsed joy. This would have been just a few weeks after being informed of Brad's physical and mental challenges, but there they are in relaxed grace.

John Moody came down to do the service, and was so very good. He kept talking about having the faith to entrust loved ones to God. It's hard. I know there's a God, but today I just kept praying, frantic really, that it's all True, and that Jesus has him and it will all make sense in the end. Funny to pray to some one in hopes they are who they say they are...

I'm grateful he is a patient and loving God, and I entrust Tommy and the people who loved him to Him tonight.

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