Mel was the last surviving sibling of my mom's family and the oldest too. Over the past two years he has suffered the loss of my mom, his wife, and my dad. He lived across the street from my folks and after their wives died, my dad and he got into the habit of sharing an afternoon beverage together. Mel often commented how he missed these daily visits.
Two years ago, just after his 91st birthday, we took him out golfing! He was still amazing in the way he could swing the club. Unfortunately just after that an infection attacked his system and he began to weaken in a significant way. Even so, his positive outlook, easy going manner, and joyful spirit did not diminish. He was grateful for every small thing in life and remained a positive, delightful person to be around.
Even in the two weeks since we arrived we had seen him decline. His sons were struggling with how to best care for him, wondering if he needed to be moved into a care facility. I think when Uncle Mel heard this his only thought was that the only move he wanted to make was to heaven. And so he found peace in his sleep and is now released from the pain of aging and reunited in the heavenly realm with his loved ones.
As mentioned, Doug and I remain grateful that we are nearby. It's a bit strange to think that the cousins are now the oldest generation on the Nelson side of my family and yet, my parents, their parents, and my mom's siblings have all meant so much to our entire family and the warm and joy-filled memories we have of shared times together are deep and abiding.
Peace to the memory of my Uncle Melvin Richard Nelson. He lived well and long and we thank God for that.