I must admit learning of his passing yesterday morning, I cried for the first time I can remember. True, actual sobbing. I’m sure it was ugly. I didn’t cry when my dad died—a random tear here or there during the immediate events and cry some more recently looking back, struggling with his death still. But, I’ve never actually sobbed upon hearing sad news before yesterday morning.
We last saw him six weeks ago at a family reunion in South Dakota—an epic road trip for a family of seven. He didn’t look 100%. Within a week of us heading back to Texas, he found out that he had cancer. You always see these things better in hindsight.
My dad was one of 12 children—10 surviving past childhood. Of the 10, six brothers and four sisters. My dad was the first to pass away in 1997. Ed is now the 4th of the boys. While my uncles have always taken special care of me, be it their oldest brother’s youngest who lost Dad when I was 12, it has been such a joy for them to equally take a special interest in my kids. There are many things hard about not having Dad around to see them grow up and I’ve voiced difficulty in picturing Dad playing with my kids. Having my uncles treat my girls as I could imagine my Dad doing has been a true grace.
Of my uncles, he was the one whose looks and mannerisms reminded me most of Dad. I wanted him to live forever, even if it was unfair of me to want it, in part, because he helped me put an adult context to the fading childhood memories of my Dad dead 19 years. Quite selfish, to be honest. He was a good man who was kind, loving, and sweet in a wonderfully gruff way. I’m going to miss him dearly.
Blessed are those who have died in the Lord;
let them rest from their labors,
for their good deeds go with them.
Eternal rest grant unto him , O Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon him.
May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
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