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.