Had a call yesterday, my Uncle died. He had been in the hospital for 2 weeks. He was a healthy man and very active for many years. He had a heart attack in January and things just seem to snowball downhill from there. He would have been 72 next month. He was funny and a bit of a rebel all of his life.
He is the youngest of 5 boys. They are all gone now, my Father included. I knew them all very well. I loved each of them and mourned the passing of the men that they were. Each his own man and unique character. Three of them were in the Navy, one in the Air Force in their young days. All came home to marry and have families. From time to time we would plan a family reunion and we all were able to get together and catch up. Enjoy each others company. Four of them lived in Texas, one in New York. All five have passed in the last 22 years.
The Uncle that died yesterday was the most colorful of all. He loved to dance, drink and travel. He went to Turkey when he was in the Navy and brought back a suitcase full of souveniers. Among those were some Turkish cigarettes. My sister and I found these and decided to try them out, Needless to say we were green and sick from the puffs we managed. He also brought us each a Tukish beanie and matching purse, I still have the beanie.
He married my Aunt when he was 20 and she was 15. They remained married til her death at 60 six years ago.They had two children , a boy and a girl, who gave them 6 grandchildren that they doted on unselfishly. They loved to fish and traveled around the country. He told me of a time when he went fishing in Oregon and caught a sturgeon that drug the boat around for a while til it tired and he actually was able to get it to the surface to get a look at the monster. He talked of that catch for years.
He cursed like the sailor that he was and although he never railed against God he did everything he could to rebell against God. After my Aunt died he told me that God wasn't going to get him because he was going to hide from God. In the last hour of his life he spoke out loud to each of his brothers and his Mom as though they were right there, greetting them with wonder in his voice. Then he sat up in the bed and said he had to go. 15 minutes later he passed from this life.
He will be cremated and with his wifes ashes and his beloved little cocker spaniels ashes, his children will spread their ashes across the spot that they loved to fish the most. He will be missed by all of us, The last of 5 brothers, the end of an era. 5 brothers that were as different as night and day, yet loved each other and made up quite a band of men. He will be missed as they all are. But the band of brothers are together again and I am sure entertaining the angels. Good Bye Uncle Edward, be free, be at peace, we already miss you and we love you.