My only nephew,Chris (the son of my only sibling), passed away one year ago (at age 33) from complications of Multiple Sclerosis. We were extremely close and he was more like a son to me. I never had children but I could not have loved my own more than I did him.
My Chris was an exceptional person. He was sweet, kind, generous, loving, and compassionate. He was sensitive and thoughtful and always went out of his way not to hurt anybody's feelings.
Physically, Chris grew up to be a handsome man. He had a smile that could light up the corners of the darkest heart. His dimples ensured that women asked him out wherever he went. He was active and always had been. As a boy, he never saw a puddle that he didn't jump in or a creek that he didn't ride his bike through. He wore out a lot of bike tires and a lot of shoes.
Chris loved to tease everybody. My parents couldn't find him once when he was about 6. They went outside and called and searched everywhere. Just as they were about to get in the car to go look for him Chris yelled to them from the top of their garage. He had happily been watching them search. Nobody could ever be mad about his antics because he was so sweet.
Chris grew into a wonderful man who loved life and lived it to the fullest. He found a wife, a good job, married, and had two children. You never saw a better father. He was very proud of his children and would often call me asking me to come by and see them. Chris had been diagnosed with MS before he married but it gradually worsened to the point where he could no longer hold a job. Even though he could and did draw disability his wife pressured him to work. When she finally realized that he'd never work again and support her she left him and both children behind.
I won't go into details but Chris was not able to care for his children so his older sister adopted them. It was probably the hardest thing he'd ever done when he had to give up his parental rights. He still spent time with them and they would spend nights with him but losing custody broke his heart. He was eventually able to understand that he did what was best for his children.
Chris eventually ended up in a nursing home. That was a pain in my Soul that I can't describe but Chris made friends and everybody loved him. He flirted with the nurses and loved it when his kids visited. This continued until the day he ended up in the hospital where he had the most wonderful Dr. you can imagine. Even though he worsened every day Chris never lost his love of life.
Chris, I can finally celebrate your life after a year of horrendous pain. I love you as much today as ever. I celebrate your love, your being a father, your friendship and kindness, and your desire always to make people happy. I celebrate every moment God allowed me to have with you, every hug, every kiss, every diaper I changed, every Mountain Dew we shared. I miss you with every breath I take.
Chris, I celebrate you because you're my Hero. You never stopped smiling through the pain, you never complained, you never felt sorry for yourself. I wish I could say the same about myself but you took the best part of me with you.
I only survive the days because I know I'll see you again one day. Even now you remain my love, my life, the best part of me. You made me be a better person and there are no words for that.