M.B.

.... yesterday I attended the Last Viewing of one of my Great Uncles..... he had lived a long life, I suppose - in the great scheme of things...... he was the husband of my maternal Grandmother's sister, Sue...... my Grandmother was her older sister, and her name was Geneva........

.... I always secretly found myself fascinated that a young, Tennessee lady born in the early 1930s would somehow end up being named "Geneva"...... Geneva, my Grandmother.... isn't that the most beautiful name?....... well, I think that it is......

.... anyway, her sister - Sue? ....well, her husband died a few days ago from a fall whilst walking in his back garden...... can you imagine?.... 85 years old, taking a stroll with your wife in the back yard, accidentally tripping, knocking your noggin, and then just never regaining consciousness......... he hit his early in the week, they unplugged him on a Wednesday, and he was dead on the following Friday...... and I attended his viewing late that Saturday evening......

.... I swear, it boggles the mind..... life truly is a fragile, delicate, immaculate little thing.... so precious, so fleeting, so absolutely enjoyable, amazing, and lovable........ but really, I'd rather go the way of my Great Uncle at 85 than waste away for ten years in some damnable nursing home......... but still, I feel for his family....... I know what it is like to lose the linchpin of a generation, and it is never easy to watch that link slip away....... even if they are 85 years old.....

... my memories of my Great Uncle are fractured and piecemeal..... he was a quiet, shy man, and I was never really that close to him...... but he was also a pious man, and I respected that very much.... hell, when compared to the rest of my Great Uncles, he was practically a Saint..... he never drank.... he never smoked..... he was a church every single Sunday........ and my other Great Uncles?...... good god, every one of them was a combat veteran of WWII..... and every bar and cop in a three county radius knew not to mess with them when they'd had a slash or two........ and if the DID have to, then they'd better bring backup.... because someone was going to lose a tooth......

... then again, I suppose that is one the things that combat gives you, is it not?..... a desire to forget where you've been, what you have done, what you have seen...... a desire to have a beer, and a beer, and a beer, until you cease to be in pain anymore?........ but THIS Great Uncle, well, he was the only one out of 9 who never served in World War II...... so, perhaps that explains why he lived a much more even-keeled life throughout..... it is just a thought......

..... one thing, though, that I do find remarkable about my memories of him is that he raised three children - two early, and one much later in life, and they are ALL the most gentle creatures that I have ever witnessed in all my born days........ his boy became a minister.... his eldest daughter became an accountant... and his youngest is a registered nurse...... and when I hugged each of them yesterday evening, all I could think of was how he was reflected - in different ways - in each of their lives....... it almost reminded me of one of those lines from a Robert Service poem..... "It is the slow, steady, plodding ones who win the life-long race."...... he was truly one of the steadiest ones that I have ever known..... and when you look at the current lives of his children, you realize that he really DID win the life-long race...... they are well, adjusted, and happy..... and he was proud of them...... and what else could a man ask for, really?......

... but good grief.... can you imagine that poor man marrying into my family like he did?......marrying into MY family of genes?.... of everyone else his age - all of his brother's in law - having been hardcore combat veterans?.... my Grandpa, Great Uncle George, Great Uncle Robert, Great Uncle J.R., Great Uncle M.C..... and each of them with PTSD after the fact like you could not believe..... hell, he was the only normal one in the bunch!....... and he must have been intimidated as hell...... but still, he held keel and made a go of it with my Great Aunt Sue..... and they were married for over 50 years......

..... I will not write more about what happened yesterday because it is special only to me, and I want to keep that for me........ but really, he was a steady man, and I respect him for that........ and it was good to see all of my many, many relatives again - even if it were under other than favorable circumstances..... he was well loved.... and his funeral was well attended....... he was the most curious of my Great Uncles, and I suspect that I understood him the least...... but he was always cheerful, and he made me feel loved......

.... and as I sit here tonight, I wish that I had spent more time trying to get to know him......

by Eric on November 06, 2011 | Bullshit (7) | TrackBack (0) | Ummm, Ok....
Bullshit So Far

Our condolences on your loss, Eric. Your post serves as tribute and eulogy to what must have been a Good Man.

"but he was always cheerful, and he made me feel loved... I wish that I had spent more time trying to get to know him..."

Can you ask for a finer way to be remembered? I think not.

Bullshitted by Elisson on November 6, 2011 08:18 PM

While I probably identify more with your combat veterans, he sounds like a hell of a man.

As for getting to know him, the fact that he made you feel loved means you knew the core of him.

And after all, isn't that what we each seek to know about others.

My condolences........ and congratulations... for being part of such a great family.

Bullshitted by kdzu on November 6, 2011 08:22 PM

..... thank you both, gentlemen........ thank you both very much...... and both for different reasons......

Eric

Bullshitted by Eric on November 6, 2011 08:50 PM

Perhaps he was not intimidated but ever grateful for his more peaceful, quiet life.
He sounds like a lovely man in the midst of a loving family.

Sincere condolences to you and yours, Eric.

Bullshitted by Jean on November 7, 2011 09:18 AM

Very sincere condolences on your great uncle's passing. You have portrayed a very admirable man, whom the world is now a bit poorer for letting escape its earthly bosom. I think the true measure of a soul's worth comes after they pass, and there is at least one person who wishes they had spent more time with that loved one. Your uncle sounded like a fine man.

Bullshitted by Erica on November 7, 2011 11:01 AM

God bless, Eric. I'm sorry for your loss. How lovely to feel loved by such a kind and gentle man. (the rest of your family sounds like a blast!)

Bullshitted by Mary on November 9, 2011 11:58 PM

I'm with Ellison. "Can you ask for a finer way to be remembered? I think not."... I hope I live to be worthy of such a tribute. My condolences.

Bullshitted by Lemon Stand on November 11, 2011 08:19 PM