My uncle Frank is very ill and is not expected to last the day. He’s almost 91 years old. Last year our family had a surprise birthday party for him which he was very moved by. At the time, I didn’t think it was a good idea to surprise a 90-year-old man. Aside from a few tears of joy, I could tell he was excited and surprised by having so many of his relatives present. I know almost all of cousins were there and their children—no small brood considering my dad has seven brothers and sisters. And that was just my aunt’s side of the family.
Uncle Frank is my uncle by marriage. He married my father’s sister. I remember him as a generous and kind man. When I was young most Sundays were spent at his house where my grandmother was living. I even spent a week there once during vacation. I wish appreciated it as much then as I would now. The regrets of a callow youth.
My uncle was a master gardener. He had a small backyard at his home that was completely given over to his vegetable garden. I always maintained that the small plot could have fed a whole village. The vegetables grew to giant proportions and I don’t think he used any artificial fertilizers to enhance them. He even managed to get grapes to grow in the city in this northeastern climate.
Lord, please comfort Uncle Frank and Auntie Jenny and their children and guide him home to your merciful and loving Presence at the appointed time. Blessed Virgin Mary, please send the holy angels to watch over him in his last hours and intercede with your Son on his behalf. Amen.