It was a crowded flight.
That shouldn’t have surprised me, but it was still a bit frustrating. We had enough American Express Rewards points to convert into two round trip tickets back home to New Hampshire on Continental Airlines…not my first choice, but with only two days advance notice, I was happy that we could get a flight at all. Normally, we would buy a seat for Lucy on a trip back to New England, and normally we would fly directly into Boston. Because of the time frame, we counted ourselves lucky to end up on a two leg flight with an 18 month old in our laps.
A crowded flight only added to our frustration.
He passed away late last week with his family around him. He was in his mid-seventies and I can’t name a person in my life I’ve known who was more generous, more devoted to God and his family, and more selfless than my Uncle. He was a Catholic Priest, and although the Catholics get a bad rap these days, he was one of the good ones…one of the very best ones, in fact. Regardless of faith, he was a friend to all people. The funeral was just what he would have wanted; traditional, filled with family and friends and clergy from throughout his years in the different parishes around New Hampshire. I felt proud for him as I looked around at the sheer number of people that came to the service. I know his faith made him fear death less, and for that I am thankful. One thing is certain; the good he did and the lives he touched and the marriages (including ours) that he presided over and the baptisms and the counseling and all of the giving that poured out of him throughout his entire life made the world a better place.
I had a chance to visit with and catch up with relatives that I haven’t heard from in years. Cousins and aunts and distant Irish relatives from Dublin and Galway who offered, “When ya come ta Oirland, ya must foind us.” And we will. It was calming, and balancing and a much needed reminder of how nice it is to have a strong, supportive family.
We don’t talk as much as we maybe should; we don’t see each other sometimes for years; we may lead different lives and have different philosophies and different perspective and different goals; but I wouldn’t trade the people I have in my life for anything. I have an amazing family, amazing friends and I am also constantly amazed by the kindness and support I receive from people I hardly know…
…but am very thankful for.
Thanks to all of my family and friends for being there for me this week.
And thanks to my Uncle Bill who left the world a better place than he found it.