Passing the Torch – A Generation Gone

16 Aug

This week my mother’s two brothers died. Uncle Bill was 96 and died of Covid. Uncle Jack was 100 and had been hanging on for a month after a stroke. We have good genes in my mother’s family.

My Uncle and me, Celebrating his 50th Wedding Anniversary

I was supposed to be in Atlanta in April to celebrate Jack’s 100th birthday. I had a flight and was excited to see my six cousins and their children and THEIR children. Covid hit and everything closed, especially nursing homes. We celebrated via Zoom. Jack looked amazing and I was sure he had a few more years in him. Once he had a stroke, that was it. He lost his sense of taste and quit eating. Fifty pounds fell off in a matter of days. He went almost a month without eating. A full military funeral is planned for this decorated war hero.

Jack and Irene at my baptism

He was my godfather and called me Alley-oop. I so wish I were telling stories with my cousins. Grieving over Zoom doesn’t quite cut it.

Bill, Bernice (my mother) and Jack

My Uncle Bill is a whole other story. He was in prison in Florida, a convicted felon, child molester. Many of my family will say, “good riddance “. He had been in prison almost eight years and would have been there for life, as he was. When I was in college in Mexico in 1974, he showed up without warning at the house where I lived. I was shocked to say the least. He loved Mexico and had arrived asking around the college until he found me. It was no small feat.

Disneyland with my granddaughter.

This week I stepped into the next generation. There are definitely things about aging that I’m not all that thrilled with. But for the most part I’m good. We think we will always have the elders with us and then one day they’re gone. And now I’m them.


17 Responses to “Passing the Torch – A Generation Gone”

  1. Emilie August 16, 2020 at 10:32 am #

    Oh, I understand. All of my previous generation including aunt and uncle have been gone now for eight or nine years.
    I am now the matriarch of the family. What an odd feeling!


    • afish25 August 16, 2020 at 2:02 pm #

      I have older cousins and an older brother. It is an odd feeling indeed.


  2. Amy Lifton August 16, 2020 at 10:57 am #

    So sorry for your losses – two in one week 😦 Poignant stories, both in their own way. They’ll live on in your heart, and now you are it, as you say! A strange feeling that I, too, share. Time is so crazy and inscrutable. Sending love, Amy

    On Sun, Aug 16, 2020 at 10:09 AM the adventures of dos tortas wrote:

    > > > > > > > afish25 posted: ” > This week my mother’s two brothers died. Uncle Bill was 96 and died of > Covid. Uncle Jack was 100 and had been hanging on for a month after a > stroke. We have good genes in my mother’s family. > > > > My Uncle and me, Celebrating his 50th Wedding Anniversary > > ” > > > >


  3. Karen August 16, 2020 at 12:03 pm #

    Sorry for your loss Alex! Well said: “We think we will always have the elders with us and then one day they’re gone. And now I’m them.” I’ve been “them” for quite a few years.
    Of course I always seem to have a song lyric, this from Nocturne by Mary Chapin Carpenter.
    We’re all trying to live up to some oath to ourselves
    Try holding back time but it will not be held
    No king has the power, no mortal the skill
    But still you keep trying to see
    What’s waiting for you at the end of your days
    Love to you and Lisa.


  4. Karen Knox August 16, 2020 at 12:12 pm #

    I am so sorry about these losses Alex. I know you also feel blessed to have had them so long. And Buddha is right, you always think there is time, it is never enough, even when it now feels like it is standing still.


    • afish25 August 16, 2020 at 1:46 pm #

      Such odd times we’re living in. Thanks. Miss you.


  5. Isa Markland August 16, 2020 at 12:16 pm #

    So sorry about your uncles Alex. Two brothers so different from each other and yet I’m sure each loved for their own attributes. Thank you for another glimpse into your life. You are loved for your honesty, integrity and determination of living life on your terms.


    • afish25 August 16, 2020 at 1:47 pm #

      Glad to hear from you. I feel your love.


  6. Gail Beyrle August 16, 2020 at 1:49 pm #

    Very sorry for you loss. Two Uncles so different you will no doubt mourn in different ways. I am not quite there yet. Two cousins are a few years older than I. Parents, Aunts and Uncles are all gone. They took with them the history I so wish they had written down. The sad part is, I am not so sure how much the younger generation will be interested in my stories.


    • afish25 August 16, 2020 at 2:04 pm #

      You get it. I did not pay much attention when I was younger either. I do miss the opportunity lost as I imagine will they.


  7. Jack Scott August 17, 2020 at 3:57 am #

    Really sorry to hear about your uncles but 96 and 100? Wow! My old lady’s 91 and there’s only her and her sister left. All the men are gone now.


    • afish25 August 17, 2020 at 8:25 am #

      Time to ask all the historical questions. Their long term memory is usually the best.


  8. Survivor August 17, 2020 at 6:56 am #

    So sorry to hear about your uncles. My uncle died in June of COVID as well. You are right that mourning long distance feels incomplete. Hugs!


    • afish25 August 17, 2020 at 8:27 am #

      None of my sibs are going to the funeral. No hugging, no hanging out. I’m going to try and organize a visit w my cousins when the dust settles.


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