While I was visiting my SIL this weekend, our dear Uncle George died in his sleep. I guess the prospect of nursing home living and having tubes assist him with eating, breathing, etc. was more than he could honestly bear. This is a man who lived independently until a week and a half ago. For as long as I have known him, he has always made it clear that he never wanted to go out as someone's dependent.
At Christmas (that is our Aunt Ellen with him above) he was missing his late wife and said how he could not wait to be with her again in Heaven, so even though we were not ready to see him go, it was time and he was able to do it "his way," which makes us happy for him.
We'll miss the stories, laughs and the annual Christmas puzzle (1000-2000 pieces) that he would give us as our present, but most of all, he was one of the last old-timers who kept us company and reminded us where we came from as a family. Thank you all for caring about us during this time.