Monday, April 17, 2006

Another family member...

...that Bigfella will never meet.

Last week, we had a wonderful visit with my maternal grandparents. At 87 years old, they made their annual Trip South last week. We spent two wonderful days with them: they watched me and mom play soccer, they doted on Bigfella, they helped my mom set up her woodshop, and we went for a couple of nice walks in the woods. We took pictures. Lots of pictures. And we talked of Uncle B, Grandma's older brother, who was recently moved into a nursing home. Already nearly blind and almost deaf, Uncle B had been experiencing muscle deterioration. They left Tuesday morning, with a promise from me to visit Uncle B when Bigfella and I take a week-long trip North next month.

When they returned to New England, Grandma called my mom to tell her that Uncle B was really failing. Apparently, he had begun to refuse to eat. Whether this was due to a medical issue, dementia or simply a willful act to exert some control over his life and surroundings we will never know. Uncle B died Saturday night.

He was a stubborn man, strong in his convictions, confident in his beliefs, yet gentle and willing to take a supporting role to his wife's dramatic, sometimes overbearing, presence. Uncle B had been the only father figure my grandmother knew from the time she was 6 when their father died unexpectedly. He took on the challenge gamely, and "fathered" his sister for the rest of his life, despite there only being an 18 month age difference between them.

I think he would have liked Bigfella.


At 5:42 PM, Blogger Mo said...

I'm sorry Uncle B left this world before Bigfella could meet him. And I'm glad you had such a nice visit with your maternal grandparents. Those connections are so special.


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