A Death in the Family

uncle-marshall-tolkien

My beloved Uncle Marshall died last Friday. We had no time to prepare for the heartache; he died unexpectedly. We are grateful that he was at home when he left us.

Thank you, God, for giving me the faith to believe in eternal life. Thank you for giving me the Bible, your Word, that confirms it, illuminates it, and settles it into my heart.

I know I will see my uncle again, along with all of my loved ones who are there with him today. I like to think of his reunions: his oldest brother Marvin, who is my father; his sibling Clarence, who died in infancy; his mother Ruth, who never got to see the fine man my uncle turned out to be.

The quote is taken from a glorious scene out of Tolkien’s Return of the King. Here it is in its entirety:

“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”

Uncle Marshall passed the shadow and reached the Star.


Darla McDavid

I'm Darla, a writer of stories about family, friends, goodness, and God. I love cats, coffee, gardening, and tall stacks of books. Click here to subscribe to my blog. You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram. In my other life, I'm an administrative professional, a Sunday School teacher for preschoolers, and the proud mother of Dan.

6 Comments Write a comment

  1. Dear Darla,
    I as so sorry. I didn’t know your uncle, but your love for him, this touching tribute, and the perfect excerpt from RETURN OF THE KING make me wish I had known him. You have a lovely gift for expressing respect and affection.
    Because of your words, Uncle Marshall passed the shadow and reached the Star.

    Reply

  2. Hello Darla. I felt the sorrow and emotions in your words, as I am able to do in all your work that I’ve read since I’ve began following you. I’d say I’m sorry but rather I’ll say that I am glad you shared a love with a family member as you have, and that YES – you will be reunited with him one day and that is a great thing!

    It’s never easy to say goodbye, so lets say “see you later”

    And a fellow writer, so he had the gift also. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing this deeply intimate part of your life with us.

    Brian

    Reply

    • I appreciate your kind words, Brian. Thank you. Saturday is Uncle Marshall’s memorial service and I have the privilege of singing “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” a hymn that I also sang at my mother’s funeral more than 15 years ago. My goal is to get through it without crying! 🙂

      Reply

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