{tractors and dr. pepper}

It was a requirement that I have Dr. Pepper on hand at all times for whenever Uncle Mel would come over to our house.  He loved that stuff.  Trust me, after all this work he did for us for Quilt Market, I had a case of Dr. Pepper on hand! And he loved tractors.  And his dogs.  And we love him.  Oh, how we love him.

Absolutely drops me to my knees and tears fall when I read this post.  Because my gardener retires this year.  And this is exactly what he had in mind - to hang out with Uncle Mel, build stuff, garden, sell at the farmers market.  They had plans together.  We had plans.  Plans involving our families and work and spending time together.  Plans.

Uncle Mel wasn't a whole lot older than my husband or his 3 other brothers.  They were like brothers.  Best friends.  And in most recent years, he's been more to us.

On February 1st, my husband gave a letter to Uncle Mel from the two peas.  We had not been able to see him for the last several months because he was keeping everyone away.  He didn't want us to see him.  He was sick and he wanted to protect us from that pain.  On that day, the letter told Uncle Mel how much the peas loved him, appreciated him for all that he had done, thanked him again for the great time they had staying at his house over Spring Break, told him how the thing they loved best about him was how he took care of Aunt Carla, and that they knew he knew this already but they wanted to tell him again - that Jesus loved him, and to be careful on his way to heaven.

They couldn't get Mel home because he was on a ventilator - which was a result of him collapsing at home 2 days prior.  His diaphragm muscles finally quit working.  For the last couple of years, we had been trying to help get him with the right docs to figure out what was wrong with him.  Everyone said he was fine.  But he wasn't fine.  Turns out, he had ALS and I think in his heart, he knew something was drastically wrong.  And as the disease progressed, he just didn't want us to see what was going on.

He just wanted to get home.  My husband told Carla - but he is going HOME.  "And home maybe not be the house he shared with you but he is going HOME."  And they made arrangements to bring his favorite dog to the hospital.  And Jake sat on Mel's lap, and Mel spelled out that he had a great life.  And that he loved everyone and then lifted his finger and pointed at Aunt Carla, his son, my husband and Carla's brother who was there.  And then my sweet husband left him alone with Aunt Carla and Mel's only son and Jake, his dog.  And then he asked for the tube to be removed, and he went HOME.

So me, my husband, my girls and our extended family - we aren't quite up to par just yet.  I'm not even sure how to get back to my blog because the words just won't come.  I just need some time.