Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I just lost another uncle...

My father's sister, Nancy, was married to a big hearted guy named Kenneth.  They spent about 60 years together and raised a beautiful family.  Kenneth died yesterday in his home.  He was elderly and, I understand, had been ill recently.  I last saw him at Thanksgiving, when I went to the United States to attend my dad's memorial.  That's also where I saw my Uncle Carl, who died in January.

Although I was sad to hear the news about Kenneth, I can't say I was totally surprised.  In fact, I observed to Bill before we went to Virginia in November that this would likely be the last time I saw some of my relatives.  My aunts and uncles are in their 70s and 80s now and that's when people start to die.  Of course, the family matriarch, my granny, lived to be 100 years old and would have been 101 had she lived another six weeks or so.

At this point, I don't have much information about Ken's passing.  All I know is that he was at home and it was morning.  Clearly, I won't be able to attend his memorial.  It's at times like this that I appreciate Facebook.  It makes it easier to connect with family members.

I didn't know Ken as well as I do some of my other aunts and uncles.  I remember him being a lover of golf and having strong opinions that he wasn't afraid to voice.  One time, I was visiting my Uncle Ed and his late wife, Nance, a former nurse who was a smoker and had no fear of getting in peoples' faces and voicing her views.  Nance and another aunt, Betty, were enjoying a cigarette in Nance's kitchen just before dinner.  Ken said, "I can't believe two nurses are smoking."

Betty piped up, "Do you have any idea the stress level that nurses deal with?"

A brief uncomfortable silence followed and then we ate... and drank.  

Another time, Ken heard me criticizing golf and was quick to take me to task when I said it reminded me of watching flies fuck.  I have since changed my mind about golf.  I'm older and more evolved now.  At the time I made that comment, I was unaware of how many golfers are in my family, nor was I particularly aware that we have a lot of Celtic ties.

But mostly, I remember Kenneth to be an affectionate man.  He was a like a big teddy bear and wouldn't hesitate to give big bear hugs.  He was kind and friendly and he joined right in at our huge family reunions.  I didn't think of him as my aunt's husband.  I thought of him as my uncle.  I imagine my dad and Uncle Carl were there to welcome him as he passed.

Godspeed, Uncle Ken.



  1. i'm glad Uncle Kenneth was in your life if only peripherally. We lost another one of the good guys.


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