Mar 21

Loss & Gratitude

gratitudeTuesday night we lost my uncle Steve. Uncle Steve was my step-dad’s older brother. He was a fun, friendly, and down-to-earth guy who was passionate about family, friends and life in general. He was a small business owner (landscaping and tree removal) who made friends everywhere he went. My step-sisters and I have been told that Uncle Steve had a bit of a, “bad boy” image back in the day, but you’d never know that from the way he treated his nieces.

When my sisters and I were in high school Uncle Steve was a huge cheerleader for us. He always told us how smart and beautiful we are and was ready to fend off the boys with big stick gun. When we came home from college and grad school he told us how proud he was that we were off “getting smart” and made us tell stories about the, “big city”. He was protective of us in a fatherly way, and always told us we could be whatever we wanted to be. His trademark saying… “Go give em hell!”

Uncle Steve was diagnosed with Leukemia one week ago. He had a strange rash but no other symptoms. When he went to his doctor, the MD took some blood and told him he had cancer. We were told, “If you’re going to have cancer, Leukemia is the best one to have…it’s very treatable if you catch it early”. Unfortunately it was not caught early. We found out the next day that it had spread to his bone marrow. The doctors initially thought he’d have a year to live, the next day he was told 2 months, and two days later he passed.

What does this all mean? I’m not really sure yet because it doesn’t really feel real yet. But I did want to write a tribute to him, because he was such a beautiful person. I also wanted to reflect a little bit on how precious life is and how grateful I am for friends, family and good health. Three things that cannot be bought and but have immeasurable emotional and spiritual worth.

You can have all the money in the world, but it can’t buy love.

You can have all the money in the world, but it can’t buy good health.

You can have all the money in the world, but can’t buy supportive friends and family.

So wherever you are today, I wish you peace, love, health and happiness! And if you’re missing one of those things, start pursuing it today. Life is too short to accumulate “stuff”. I’m going to focus on accumulating memories.  

Image: JulieJordanScott


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  1. Tonya@Budget and the Beach

    I’m so sorry about your loss. That is just crazy that it was only a week. 🙁 But honestly no matter how much time there is it’s very difficult to watch a loved one deal with cancer. You are so right that it puts things into perspective. I also use it as a motivator that life is too short to be unhappy with a relationship, work, where you’re living, etc. My thoughts are with you!

    1. KK

      Thanks Tonya. It’s been really hard, particularly on my step-dad. If there’s one positive thing in all of this, we’ve very glad he didn’t suffer and have to fight for a long time.

  2. E.M.

    KK, I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine getting that news and things turning around so fast. My heart goes out to you and your family. I agree with your message at the end, too.

    1. KK

      Thanks, we’re doing OK. It’s been tough, but we’re doing the best we can.

  3. Shoaholicnomore

    Wow! That happened so suddenly. I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending thoughts to you and your family.

    1. KK

      Thanks we appreciate all the positive thoughts that are being sent our way.

  4. Kali @ CommonSenseMillennial

    I’m so sorry KK – will be thinking of you and your family at this time.

    1. KK

      Thanks Kali. We know things will get better with time.

  5. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life

    So sorry for your loss. Family and friendships really are everything. I hope you’re getting to spend this time with yours.

    1. KK

      I completely agree. I’m headed up to see everyone this weekend and I’m hoping we’ll be able to heal a little bit together.

  6. Morgaine

    So sorry for your loss KK. Your uncle sounds like a truly remarkable man and he will be missed.

    1. KK

      He truly was. I know we will miss him tremendously.

  7. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer

    My dear, dear blogging friend, so very sorry to hear of this sudden loss. Many hugs to you both. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    1. KK

      Thanks Laurie, the past week has been hard but everyone’s love and prayers really do make us feel loved and supported. Uncle Steve wouldn’t want us to be sad, so that keeps us going.

  8. Pauline @ Reach Financial Independence

    Very sorry for your loss KK.

    1. KK

      Thanks Pauline.

  9. Shannon @ Financially Blonde

    Losing someone we love is so painful, my “Uncle Steve” was my Uncle Jerry who had a stroke and was gone in a week. But the one blessing that loss brings is that it reminds us to focus on what is important and who we still have and love. Please know that I am sending you and your family good thoughts.

    1. KK

      It definitely is. I’m sorry to hear about Uncle Jerry. It definitely does put things in perspective doesn’t it?

  10. anna

    KK, I’m so sorry to hear about your loss, especially with its suddenness. My sincerest condolences to you and your family, Uncle Steve sounded like a great guy. Big hugs to you, my friend.

    1. KK

      Thanks Anna. Uncle Steve was pretty amazing, we’re going to miss him very very much.

  11. Alicia @ Financial Diffraction

    I’m so sorry, KK. I am sure the shock of the timeframe only made it all the more difficult. You described a very lovely man in your post.

    1. KK

      I’m afraid I haven’t done him justice, but I felt like I wanted to put my thoughts into words.

  12. David

    I am so sorry about your loss. I am surprised that it took only a week. Even still, by writing this article it shows your ability to get over hard events, and that is one of the characteristics of a great admin for a website.

    1. KK

      Writing the post was something I felt like I had to do. It’s been on my mind so much I just needed to get everything out in writing (something that’s always been helpful to me). We’ll miss him so much.

  13. DC @ Young Adult Money

    I’m so sorry for your loss, KK.

    1. KK

      Thanks, we’re hanging in there. Can’t wait to be with the family this weekend.

  14. Melanie@Dear Debt

    I’m so sorry, KK. 🙁 That’s insane. I always think about the crazy, incomprehensible things in this world. You can have all the money, eat healthy and try to do “all the right things”, but you still can’t avoid death. It’s such a painful reality to accept and I am truly sorry for your loss. I’m here to chat if you need an ear!

    1. KK

      It’s true and it’s really scary. I’m trying not to let my mind get away from me with all the “what ifs”. Thanks for your support I really appreciate it!

  15. Ryan @ Impersonal Finance

    So sorry to hear about your loss KK. Definitely helps to remind us all to focus on people and not possessions.

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