Uncle Warren Fisher was a marine who always had time for his country, his family and his friends. He was the youngest of my mother's four brothers and was perhaps, the most quiet. However, his "twinkle" of joy and fun was simply the heartwarming characteristic which charmed everyone who knew him. A great dancer and comic who enjoyed making everyone in our family laugh during the Christmas holidays.
On Saturday I received a call he was in the hospital gravely ill and as I drove to Yukon I began thinking back on the good days we had. When I arrived my father and I got to spend time with him and our cousin Kelly. In the last few years he had lost his wife, our Aunt Avis and tragically his only son Barry, a police officer for Yukon. Kelly was alone with her daughter when we approached his bed and he had not responded at all to our presence during that time.
I asked him if we could pray with him before we left, and he immediately responded by reaching out his hand, he stopped moving and bowed his head closing his eyes. Through my prayer I would thank the Lord for his family and he would quietly say, "Amen and thank you" and I realized how priceless this moment was we were all sharing. His gracious heart even before he would leave this earth was filled with a reverence toward God and a humility to prayer.
Many heroes have been in my life and usually my father is at the top of the list, but I can tell you that my mother's brothers all helped raise us cousins. They were people who loved the Lord and having a father as a world champion wrestler like Granddad Fisher was, there were big boots to fill. Warren always filled them so beautifully too.
My Aunt Phyllis came by to see him the next morning, she was Uncle Harold's wife and was in the same facility watching her husband Harold going home just a couple years earlier. Now, she stood by the last "child" of the Fisher family she had invested her life knowing. As she was leaving Uncle Warren's bedside, she whispered, "Tell Harold we miss him too". Tears filled my eyes as I thought of Jack, Ralph, Harold, Rose and now this great man.
Stopping to reflect on my family of faith, I could not help but be thankful for so many Christ followers who were not giving just religious lip service, but real faith to the coronation day of Uncle Warren as he went home this morning only to open his eyes and see the Lord. Kelly was beside his bed alone when he went to sleep and opened his eyes in glory. This is such an amazing thought it is truly something we cannot even imagine, no matter how many movies try to tell this story. I was honored to be a few moments behind to pray a last time, until we have his funeral next week.
I salute you Uncle Warren for your bravery, for your commitment to your wife and family and mostly for being the hero to all of us with your joy and laughter. Thank you for helping us see Jesus more by your actions than your quiet words. Thank you for the love you always extended to all of us. Do us a favor, please let all our family know how much we love them and we will see them soon.
Your nephew already really misses you more than can be spoken.
Kevin McAfee is a film maker who writes for the purpose of inspiring others to make a difference in the world through faith in God using the visual language of film. His blog is shared in hopes of impacting culture, but his heart is in media missions and the church.