June 2nd, 2006

The gentleman is always properly dressed

A brief word on my people

Yesterday, I got word that my uncle Patrick passed away due to complications in the OR. He was my mom's second youngest brother, and barely ten years older than me. Some of my earliest memories involve things like being held by the ankles suspended head down over the porch railing by Patrick and Bill (the youngest of the Lajoie siblings). They did this a lot, hoping to scare me silly. It was actually kind of fun.

He was a good man who had had a hard life. I can't remember the last time I saw him where there wasn't something he was struggling with. Not your everyday worries and disatisfactions, mind you, but significant, soul-crushing things. Some were within his control. A great many more were not. The last few times I spoke to him, I could scarcely grasp how he managed to put one foot in front of the other.

Right now, my heart is breaking for my cousin who had to make the decision to take her father off life-support, and for my grandmother who has lost a husband and a son in less than a year. She needed to make sure I was ok when I called before she would talk about anything else. I had called to see how she was doing.

My mom's holding up, but I could hear the strain in her voice hiding in her calm front. I guess I'm holding up too.