I’ve talked several times in this blog about my great-uncle who served in World Two, was captured by the Germans, and rescued from a German hospital with a bullet still embedded in his head. I’m shared how this man who suffered the worst of this world at age twenty, went on to live a full life with a smile on his face, about his favorite songs, and about his irrepressible sense of humor. As he has lost his vision, his hearing and his memory due to dementia, he has met all of life’s challenges with good humor.
You all helped Uncle Eldon celebrate his 90th birthday last December. Our family was deeply moved by the number of total strangers who thanked him for his service to this country.
Uncle Eldon’s heart is slowing down. A few days ago, his heart rate stabilized at 33 beats per minute. This past week, he was put on hospice. The family has been told that it may be days or weeks before he exits this life on earth.
After I talked with my cousin and aunt, they put the phone up to his ear and once again, I got to sing “You Are My Sunshine” and “Blessed Assurance,” his two favorite songs. In spite of his weakness and dementia, I could hear his voice echoing about every other word.
Pray that God will strengthen us to let him go. Pray that the Lord take him easily with no struggle or pain. Pray that the Lord will smooth out all those nitty-gritty details that families must face in the dying process and at the time we gather to celebrate this life. Pray that his life story will be a testimony to others, that others will come to faith in Jesus Christ through this season. Pray that the family find it a beautiful, sacred time as we rejoice that Uncle Eldon has finally overcome the struggles of this earthly life.
And thank you for letting me share his story with you. His life story shows me that we can find the courage and resolve to move beyond anything life may throw at us.