My Dad’s favorite uncle, Uncle Rene - his father’s brother - died last week. His mother’s sister, Aunt Betty, died last week, too. Rough week for my Dad.
My grandmother’s sister had been fighting cancer for most of this year. When it was first diagnosed, it already had metastasized, so there was not a lot of hope of a cure, even from the beginning. She lived longer than they expected her to live (about 9 months after the diagnosis), and she lived with grace and joy and a sense of the wonder of life, determined to experience what she could, enjoy what she could, and be with family as much as she could, while she was able. However, she had been under hospice care for some time. She was awake and alert and happy to receive cards and visits for her 84th birthday on October 16. Since her birthday, though, she had not done much but sleep. She died this past Friday, October 23. Her daughter was with her. I am sure she felt loved. We will miss her dearly.
My grandfather’s brother had seemed very healthy, especially given his age - he would have been 94 this week. He had a bit of fluid around his heart a couple of months ago, but they got rid of the fluid (diuretics did the trick, I think) and pronounced him healthy. He died of a heart attack last Monday, October 19. It was sudden and as unexpected as a 94 year old person's death could ever be. I hope he had a chance to say his goodbyes and to enjoy all the things he wanted in life. I hope he died relatively peacefully, and that he, too, felt loved. Because he was.
Both lived in New Orleans for most of their lives. That is where my Dad’s family is from, and where many of his relatives have lived for generations. Both funerals will take place this week. Many folks in New Orleans may not notice their passing, but my family is understandably a bit shaken.
I’ll share a bit more about Uncle Rene, and about my family history, tomorrow.