Chin Up Buttercup

December 19, 2011

Friday was the funeral and memorial for Jim Waibel. It was something I was going into telling myself I had to be the strong one in the family. I had to be the one to hold up my family and make sure I wasn't emotional. Well, dad gave a speech and it was great.... hearing him get choked up killed me. Few tears were shed at that time but after the Benediction, the men dearest to my heart, lost it. Knowing my dad melts when he gets an "Aubrey Hug" I was at his side immediately hugging on him as close as I could and making sure he knew how proud I was of him and how much I loved him. My brother is not one to lose it or to become emotional around ANYONE and again it killed me seeing him upset. It breaks my heart seeing these strong men crumble. It makes my heart hurt knowing I can't change the past and make Jim come back to be with all of us.

A couple weeks ago I wrote about the events in Jim's disappearance and how we found he had gone to be with the Lord. Read about it here. Of all people I wanted to see that post, it was my family. I forwarded it to my parents and grandparents as I knew they would enjoy reading about how I looked up to Jim in my life. Well, they did love it and forwarded it on to many more to see my {tribute}, if you will. Friday was a day I was recognized for writing. I was thanked for my openess to share. I was greeted with open arms by Uncle Jim's family as they appreciated my thoughts after losing someone so close to me.

I honestly don't do good with meeting people or with expressing myself after a compliment so that day was overwhelming for me. Let's just say after we left the church and on our way home to get set up for the memorial, I lost it. Thank God for my amazing husband for his unconditional understanding and love and for consoling me throughout the drive. I try to be strong for my family and loved ones and I try to be the rock to hold up and encourage everyone, but sometimes I need to have my own meltdowns. And sometimes I need to listen to my emotions and lose it occassionally.

During this past weekend, a few close friends of mine have been dealing with struggles. All I want to do is wrap my arms around them and let them know I'm praying and God is watching over them and sending strength their way. It just isn't that simple all the time. I've come to a point where yes, I am a people pleaser. I very much care about what others think of me, I look to please everyone else before myself. I can't always do that.

I came home to a card from Andrew the other night and it made my heart melt. He pointed out everything I am worrying about now. How I want to please and give and bend over backwards to make sure people aren't hurting. He told me things I needed to hear about how he so appreciates what I do for him and his family and our family and home and for Drake. I love him for this {just because} card. They are the best of them all.

So here I am...exploding all these thoughts that have been bouncing around my head this weekend and I'm just so thankful for those close friends and family I have. They make me stronger and make me want to send my love their way for anything and everything.

Uncle Jim {WAIBS}

December 8, 2011

Monday October 24th a dear friend of our family went missing; Jim Waibel. The first few days were beyond surreal as our family knows this man like the back of our hands. He was responsible, caring, witty and a passionate cat lover. He treated his kitties like babies; they were his world. So how could he have just left them and his home without an explanation?? No one knew. As time went on the authorities launched a missing persons case but nothing came to surface regarding new evidence as to what happened and where he could be. Read about it here.

November 17th a man's body was found near the Navajo Bridge up by Lees Ferry. Detectives contacted the right people to locate recent dental records to confirm the identity of the man to be Jim Waibel. That story is here.

So here was are, 2 weeks later his identity confirmed. Yes, we knew this could be what happened. Yes, we would rather have this closure than going throughout life not knowing where he was or what happened to him. Yes, he's through the pain and suffering and was embraced by Heaven's open arms but it still hurts.

I've known Uncle Jim since the day I was born. Long before that was when he and my dad met in college at NAU and were good ole room mates. Proud owners of the {Chateau}! For those who don't know this story, their house was a peice of work barely held up but it was shelter and that as a college student was something worth bragging about. Once the two boys grew up and started their lives in the "real world" they purchased homes a street away from each other. This is where him being part of my life comes into play. Every weekend dad and I would ride our bikes a street back to Uncle Jim's and he'd be there waiting for me saying "How much did you miss me this time, Aubrey?" Me, with my arms stretched out the biggest/longest they could reach would reply "THIS MUCH!!" The years went on this way until my family moved to our second home a few miles from Uncle Jim. But that didn't hinder the relationship. He was part of every birthday, holiday and event. Was even there to witness the marriage of Andrew and myself.

As time goes on I can only thank the Lord for accepting a new angel but Jim Waibel-Waibs-Uncle Jim will truly be missed. It's now time to come together and embrace his family and to smother them with prayer as it's now time for closure.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

My heart aches as this chapter of my life closes. We love and miss you Uncle Jim. At least I know when I get to Heaven your arms will be outstretched waiting to ask how much I've missed you.