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  • My uncle lay in his home, surrounded by his family. His eyes hadn't opened in hours and aside from his sporadic, labored breaths, the room was silent. The Hospice nurse informed us that it wouldn't be long.

    The soft glow of the day's first light gently made its way through the open blinds. The weight of the awful waiting pushed everyone's eyes toward the floor. Meanwhile, his right hand rose into the air. His eyes opened and fixed on something only they could see. Raspy and quietly, he said, "James...James..." the name of his brother, my father, dead for over ten years. His stare toward the ceiling was piercing and intent. "James," he said one last time.

    He lowered his hand, still staring, then his eyes closed. A slight smile crossed his thin lips. The morning sun had made its way to his face, and he glowed as brightly as a newborn angel.

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