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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Time for Family

I am very lucky to have a wonderful heritage on my mother’s side as well on my father’s side. My mother’s last surviving brother past away this week at the age of 85. My mother‘s family grew up in a small town in Louisiana. My mother has big sister in Texas and she had five brothers. I was blessed to be part of this family. A family who loved each other. A family who loved music, politics and religion. My wife tells me that we should not discuss religion or politics at social gatherings. However, when I grew up, those were exactly the things you did talk about. I remember the ire I created in my uncle in 1972 when I put a “George McGovern for President” bumper sticker on his car.

My uncle was a World War II hero, serving as a radio operator and gunner in the Army Air Corp. He was shot down twice in the War. The second time was on his 50th mission. This was suppose to be his last mission and it was but for a different reason. He was captured and was a prisoner of war. A military honor guard was at the funeral. Taps were played softly and sweetly as we stood around his flag draped coffin.

Another of my uncles was also captured in the War. When I contemplate the service and sacrifice these men made, and the service of my own dear father, who served in the war, I truly agree with Tom Brokaw’s description of America’s Greatest Generation.

Funerals are times to honor the deceased but also to embrace your extended family; to hug again the beloved cousins from my youth, to recall adventures and times together. Today I thought fondly of the times we enjoyed each other’s company in public parks, in family homes, at Disneyland. The times spent together in Utah, California and Louisiana.

Some of my uncles wives (my aunts) who were also from Louisiana spoke Cajun French. I can still recall the aunts speaking French at family gatherings when I was boy. I never did know what these women were talking about.

As I looked at the several generations of family members today, I thought of the river of life we are all drifting down, ever faster as we get older. I recalled my boyhood, my teenage years, the birth of my own son and now look at my own drift to an older generation.

1 comment:

  1. So sorry to hear about Uncle Raby. I remember well the incident with the McGovern sticker. He did not laugh -- but I'll bet he's laughing about it now as he tells that story to Sheila and to the others who went before him. My love to your family. Debbie