It's the Saturday before we go to trial and my Uncle Virgil is in the hospital. I took Aunt Sis home yesterday when we found out he was being taken by ambulance to Barnes Jewish hospital in St. Louis. Thankfully, by nephew, Dr. Mark Willingham (and yes, I emphasize Doctor quite proudly!), is in residency there. Even though his speciality is anesthesiology, it is a comfort to know he can keep an eye on Uncle Virgil and check in on him from time to time.
Aunt Sis, my Mom's sister and best friend, knows she has to be by her husbands side but a part of her really wants to be here for the trial. As I was taking her home yesterday she said she had waited five years for this trial and now she cannot attend. She wanted to be here for my brothers and I as well as seeking justice for her sister and brother-in-law's untimely death at the hands of a knife wielding intruder. Of course, we want her to be at Uncle Virgil's side and we know Mom would want her to be with him as well. No doubt about that!
Uncle Virgil is a wonderful man! He was so much fun to be around as I was growing up. Whenever we would be getting together with family, as soon as we saw Uncle Virgil, we attacked him...literally! He loved wrestling with us! Even with all three of my brothers and I jumping on him, he was able to handle every one of us tossing us around and delighting us to no end. As small children, we would scream, "Do me some 'gain, Uncle Virgil!" He and Aunt Sis loved taking us to ball games, playing ball with us, shooting fireworks, and taking us fishing and camping. What fun we had! So many memories! As my kids grew up, Uncle Virgil and Aunt Sis did the same with them. It was beautiful to listen to my kids as they told stories that were also my stories of such fun with Uncle Virgil and Aunt Sis after they returned home from spending a week or so with them!
I am truly blessed! I have such a beautiful family. I was so loved growing up and am still loved by this wonderful family of mine. Yes, Mom and Dad's lives were brutally taken but they are walking streets of gold. Yes, I want justice for this crime, but I have much to rejoice about. Thank you, Lord, for allowing me the privilege of being loved by my family. I am so grateful for every one of my beautiful family members, especially my Uncle Virgil! Please join me in praying for his quick and speedy recovery.
I John 3:18 (The Voice)
My little children, don't just talk about love as an idea or a theory. Make it your true way of life, and live in the pattern of gracious love.
Thank you for showing me what love looks like, Uncle Virgil.
Do me some 'gain, Uncle Virgil! I love you more than words can ever say!