Wednesday, August 21, 2013

When We All Get To Heaven

While on vacation the end of July, we got the sad news that our dear Uncle Barney (actually, my great-uncle) passed away suddenly in his sleep.

Uncle Barney and Aunt Marilyn. Look at their sweatshirts. It lists all
their grandchildren by name. Maybe even great-grandchildren.

He was my grandmother's younger brother.

He died on Sunday. My grandmother's birthday (the first since her passing) was Monday.

Never one to miss a chance to sing,

Uncle Barney arrived in heaven just in time to 
sing his sweet sister Happy Birthday.

We were at our beloved Fripp Island when we got the news.

While on a bike ride around the island, the song,

"When We All Get to Heaven"

kept running through my mind.

I haven't heard or even thought of that song in years.

I could only recall the words to the chorus:

When we all get to heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We'll sing and shout the victory!

God is so faithful to comfort his own with a sweet memory.

The thought of Uncle Barney with his sisters and brother and parents let alone his "friend Jesus" (as he always phrased it)

well, it was hard to be anything but praise-filled

even though I will miss him so much.

Uncle Barney was so funny.

Great Uncle Bob (who married my parents and
Monte and I) with Great Uncle Barney. They were
proving that when they open their mouth they
look just alike. And people wonder why I am

He always told us as kids that my grandmother had dropped him on his head when he was a baby.

He assured us that he had no lasting effects from the fall

then he would launch into all manner 
of head twitching and nodding

much to our delight.

Barney loved to sing!

He was always singing. 

Our family reunions and get togethers always included music. He had a lovely tenor voice and I can still hear him singing in some of the good ol' hymns.

One of the things Aunt Marilyn has noticed so much, is how quiet the house is without Barney's constant singing and whistling.

Barney LOVED his wife, Marilyn.

He took marriage very seriously and invested in it. 

They went on "romantical" (as he called them) weekends each year. They would often stop by on their way to or from one of their weekends when I was a kid. It was good for me to see the intention of their marriage.

It was at my grandmother's funeral that he pulled my girls aside to tell them how blessed he was to have just celebrated 50 years of being married. He said he asked Marilyn if she would give him 50 more.

She told him she'd have to think about it.

She then said to my girls with great inflection,

"This is the most important decision you will ever make. 
Don't make it lightly!"

Oh, how I love my family!

Uncle Bob, Aunt Beverly, Aunt Betty, Aunt Jeanie, Aunt Janet
and Uncle Barney.

During a family reunion at a lake a few years ago, Uncle Barney and Aunt Marilyn were out on a "romantical" walk by the lake at night. Barney stepped right off of the dock into the lake by accident!

We were all in the lobby when Marilyn and a very wet Barney came in laughing. He told his story with great detail and humor.

[See--I didn't get this way all by myself!]

We all delighted in it! 

The family teased him the rest of the weekend, which Barney delighted in.

Barney was the one who stood up and said the beautiful tribute to my grandmother at her funeral.

Spoke of her adjustable spirit.

Wasn't that just yesterday?

I found out that Barney had three wishes regarding his death:

1) He wanted to go before his beloved Marilyn.

2) He wanted to go in his sleep.

3) He wanted to go on a Sunday so he could 
sing in the heavenly choir.

As his grandson pointed out--

he got all three!

If that right there isn't proof that God hears every prayer, 
that He is a God of the big AND small things,
that He loves us so very personally,
I am not sure what is.

When we all get to heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We'll sing and shout the victory!


  1. Thanks Karm,
    Oh how he loved his family, not only his children, but his grandchildren, his brothers/sisters and his nieces and nephews...There will be another great family reunion someday, and I for one don't want to miss this.. Love you more than you will ever know!


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  3. So sorry for your loss Karmen. Praying for you and your family and thanking God with you for the ways He comforts us.

  4. Sing the wondrous love of Jesus,
    Sing His mercy and His grace.
    In the mansions bright and blessed,
    He'll prepare for us a place.

    While we walk the pilgrim pathway,
    Clouds will overspread the sky,
    But when traveling days are over--
    Not a shadow, not a sigh.

    Let us then be true and faithful,
    Trusting, serving every day.
    Just one glimpse of Him in glory
    Will the toils of life repay.

    Onward to the prize before us!
    Soon His beauty we'll behold;
    Soon the pearly gates will open--
    We shall tread the streets of gold.

    When we all get to heaven,
    What a day of rejoicing that will be!
    When we all see Jesus,
    We'll sing and shout the victory!

    I think I would have liked your Uncle Barney! Bless you in your loss.

  5. Thank you, Richella! Those words are powerful--even without the music. Thank you for taking the time to send them!

    And yes, you would've LOVED Uncle Barney! He radiated Christ out of every pore of his body.


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