One Year Ago


A year ago today, was one of the “hardest” days of my life. A year ago this very minute, I was rushing to Chicago, driving as “quickly” as possible, and mentally preparing myself to say goodbye to the “most” important man from my childhood. My Uncle Hanzil Burtman… My childhood hero! The intensity and the pain of grieving, has eased over time, but “at times” it hits me in a tsunamic type wave. Often during the most unexpected moments, an all “new” and sudden realization overcomes my soul. The realization that a very real and huge part of my heart is no longer roaming the earth! He’s no longer a quick phone call away, his Facebook page is just a “memory”, the pictures of his gentle giant self are just a “memory” of his victorious life, I will never be able to sit next to his “comforting” and heart-warming body, and he is no longer a five hour dive away from my home! All these realizations, cause my heart to grieve in a new way!

Once the emotions well up within and the tears portray the outward symptom of my inner pain, God’s promises rush into my “very” being. It’s almost as if God himself is sitting next to me, holding my hand, gently wiping away my symptomatic tears, and ensuring me of the “hope” that is to come. The “Eternal” hope that I WILL be with my sweet Uncle Hanzil in Heaven one day! Yes, I wish I could see him now, talk to him now, hold his hand now, call him and tell him all he’s meant to me over the past 35 years, but these wishes will remain wishes until the day, The Lord comes for my soul. Until then, I “cling” to the promise that I will see my uncle again, I will hear his sweet southern voice, hear him sing beautiful old hymns in my ears, and I will feel his giant sized hands hold mine again. I MUST be patient! I MUST rest in The Lord! I MUST hold onto his memory! I MUST wait patiently!

For one day… In the words of my dear sweet uncle’s daily prayer, “He will take me home to live with Thee one sweet day!” On that glorious day, I will be reunited with the Lover and Savior of my soul, Jesus Christ. I will be reunited with all those I’ve loved who’ve gone before! I will be reunited with my childhood hero, my beloved Uncle Hanzil!

I miss you, Uncle Hanzil Burtman! I think about you everyday and miss you with every breath I take!

I look forward to the day, I will sit next to you at the Heavenly banqueting table!

Until then, I will cherish this picture of my “itty bitty” three year old self, looking up at your handsome and loving face, I WILL “remember” your Godly influence on my life and how much I “truly” admired who you were and all that you stood for, in your life!

Your Beloved Niece,




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