My Dad's life-long best friend, whom he met at age 5 on the first day of Kindergarten, the man I know as Uncle Pete, passed away today at the age of 56. He was diagnosed months ago with cancer, and he fought it with everything he had. He leaves behind an incredible wife and two handsome sons, both in college.
Pete, Dad and their friend Butchy (yes... Butchy) raised some serious hell - I've only heard bits and pieces of their many stories. They played football together. They grew up together, in and out of each other's homes, having adventures. Getting in trouble. They were brothers. As my mom put it, Pete was more a brother to my dad than his own brother was. And Pete's mom was a second mother to my dad. Pete was there when my parents met. It was as important to my dad that my mom meet Pete's parents as it was she meet his own. That's the kind of friends they were.
My heart is broken. For his wife Tracy, for his sons Robert and Brian, for my dad, for Pete's mother. But I'm not heartbroken for Uncle Pete - because his struggle is over, and he is celebrating in heaven, waiting patiently for his family to someday join him.
Death is not sad for the ones who have already passed on, but for those of us who are left to pick up the pieces and learn how to move on again.
Please pray for Uncle Pete's family - for moments of laughter and joy, for fond memories, for friends and family to surround them and support them as needed, and that they are able to gradually heal.