In a few hours, I'm going to meet my family at a little lake in a small town not too far from here.
A few months ago, my Uncle passed away. He was an awesome man. He was a lovely human being, a cool Uncle, was as goofy as the rest of us, could tell a story a mile long (a few times...), loved the outdoors, loved music, and loved us.
They have a little cottage on that lake I'm going to visit tonight, and this is the first summer we've been there without him. It was bizarre, but it felt like he'd just taken the kids out for a ride in the boat and wasn't back yet. And then, I caught a glimpse of a silly thing.
I thought, "Oh - his shoes..." Then, I remembered those were my dad's. The guys loved these shoes. My brother got them, then so did Dad. Then, Jim did, too.
And then I remembered, "Wait. No. Those aren't his shoes..."
And it hit me.
My Aunt gave me a hug and told me that my Uncle was so very proud of me and would have loved to tell me so himself. The way she said it, I could just see him, pleased as punch, knowing that I'd made this huge change in my life. Allowing myself to really live. It's been great, and I know he was proud. He was when he saw me at 40lbs lost, and I know he'd have been just as delighted at nearly 130lbs lost.
Tonight, his ashes are going to one of his favorite places; this quaint little lake where we all have years of great memories with him.
It feels good to know that I made him proud. I'm going to miss him.