On Saturday, January 29th, we got word that Dave's oldest brother, Bill, had passed away. His passing was completely unexpected and the kind of news that no one is prepared to receive. How could this happen? What do we do now? We went and got Liz, the only other Howe here in Utah and spent the day together, while the rest of the family gathered at home in Texas.
We went through the day in shock and then when the night came, so did the overwhelming sadness. It was one of those nights where you sleep with the Kleenex box between your pillows and then throw the used tissues over the side of the bed onto the floor because you just don't care.
But a few days later we were able to fly back to Texas to be with family. How thankful we are for understanding professors and employers who made it so easy for us to just get up and leave right in the middle of the week. And how thankful we were to make it there without any delays to our trip - crazy, crazy weather down there!
Snow in Plano the day of the service
Although we wished we were there for a different reason, it was a great trip. It was so good to see family that we hadn't been able to see over Christmas. So good to cry and laugh about all the good memories we had of Bill. So good to be reminded over and over again of blessed we were to have known such a generous, funny guy that loved his family and friends above all else. It was a chance to receive confirmation that Bill was gone from his body and gone from this world, but also a reminder that he is not gone, that families are eternal and we will see him again.
One night Dave mentioned how sad and strange it was that our kids would never know Bill. I agreed. And I'm not sure exactly how it all works on the other side, but I hope that now that Bill is done with his time on earth, he might have some time to spend with our kids before they start journey here. Because Bill truly was a fabulous uncle - the best a kid could ask for.
We'll miss you Bill.
The Howe Family, February 2011