Posted by: angelnorman | July 1, 2010

and another death in the family.

This is the story on Mike’s great uncle. For those of you who haven’t heard, we lost Michael’s great uncle Jerry one week after losing Michael’s grandmother– to the day. Unbelievable how it pours when it rains… And just when we thought things couldn’t get any harder. Michael’s great-uncle was one of his Papa’s brothers. Since Michael’s Papa, Mr. Howard Granville- the man we named Nicholas after, passed away in 1997, my father-in-law has thought of Jerry as the closest thing to a dad that he has. And Michael would always look at him and smile and say, “He looks so much like Papa!”

At the funeral home during Granny’s visitation, Michael had the opportunity to sit and listen to his Uncle Jerry tell stories about how, not-so-long ago, he decided to take a trip to Iuka, Mississippi to visit the place where Howard Granville and Frances Lorene (Michael’s grandparents) had eloped to. He said he was just thinking about it one day and decided to drive down and check it out. Mike loved how good-natured Uncle Jerry was, and how fondly he spoke of his brother, who Michael was super close to.  Also, at another family funeral a few years back, Uncle Jerry was talking to us about Nick, and Mike proudly announced to him that we had given Nicholas the middle name of “Granville” to honor Papa Norman. Jerry smiled and said, “How could you do that to your kid? Don’t you know that Howard hated the name Granville?” And it was true, apparently. He would never ever tell people what the “G” stood for in Howard G. Norman. I would like to think that Mr. Norman is so stinkin’ proud of Mike and of Nick that he is overlooking the bad choice of name 🙂

The hardest part about all this for Mike is that we literally saw him just days before his death in good spirits, good health, and all. When we got the call on Tuesday that he had passed away, and so tragically and suddenly, Mike looked at me and said, “I cannot believe this. I think the Normans are being systematically exterminated from the face of the planet.” Yes, he made a joke. At this point, you have to laugh a little to keep from losing it. As negative as it might seem, it really makes you stop and think about how someone can be here one day and gone the next. Oh how fleeting life can be. It’s true. We just never know when we’ll take our last breaths here. That’s the reality of life. It is over just as quickly as it begins.

We will miss Uncle Jerry, as I know his immediate family will miss him too. We might not have spent as much time with him as we should, but we have thought of him often and fondly, spent time with him at family reunions, and did get to enjoy a little time with him during his last week on this earth. My prayers are with his family- his daughter Brenda, who is one of my favorite Christian women, and his son Jerry, Jr, who is always so kind and funny. His grand-daughter Erica, who we love so very much (Michael and Erica were pretty close growing up), and all of the rest of his immediate family, his fiance Dianne included. My heart breaks for them all.

Please make sure that you’re not taking any of your loved ones for granted. Even those who seem healthy. Tragedy happens every single day, after all. Hug your relatives and spend as much time with them as you can while you can.

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