We received some very unexpected news last Monday, the 2nd. I was outside washing my car while you boys and Daddy were enjoying time in the cool indoors. I received a phone call from Mimi, and she fearfully relayed to me that Uncle Andy was found unresponsive in his home. The paramedics were unfortunately unable to revive him. We later found out that he had a condition in which his arteries had hardened. He was too young, at 45, and it obviously devastated our whole family.

Uncle Andy started dating Auntie Denise 17 years ago…right around the time Daddy and I started dating. I remember first meeting Uncle Andy at one of Auntie Denise’s softball games. I like him well enough at first, but I couldn’t embrace him until I observed how he treated Auntie Denise (who happens to be more like my older sister). He quickly found a place in my heart, and in the heart of our entire extended family.

I respected Uncle Andy, because he was a traditional kind of man. He thought it was his responsibility to work hard, care for his wife, and provide for his two children. He was committed to Auntie and to their children Nico and Gigi. He was a good son to his father, and he loved his mother deeply. Uncle Andy had an easy disposition that was warm and friendly, and people instantly felt comfortable in his presence. He was a pillar of strength, with a heart that was soft and tender. When Pop Pop received his terminal diagnosis in 2011, one of the first people I wanted to see was Uncle Andy. Seeing my dad weak, made me want to see someone strong…and Uncle Andy represented that to me.

Auntie Denise and Nico and Gigi are some of our family’s favorite people, and we will do anything for them. Their family is in or prayer pot, and we will continue to lift them up.

Death is sad, even though it is a natural part of humanity. Because life is short, today I vowed to love others fiercely, and to keep Jesus at the forefront of my heart.

Author: bethany

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