fare-thee-well

My uncle died last night – this is my mother’s brother-in-law. He was 92, with 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. I didn’t know he had that many til I read his obit on line at the funeral home website.

He was an uncle I didn’t really respect or get along with. The feeling was pretty much mutual until I took over getting the farm house ready for a wedding. I scolded him. I told him off. I said he was making the place a pig sty. (They raised piglets at one point til the barn burned down). Somehow, that earned me his respect.

I regret that the years I spent not far from their home, I avoided the family. I’m not sure why. I spent so many fun but allergy-filled times at the farm as a kid. I had grown so far apart from my cousins, our worlds didn’t mesh. My husband felt very awkward around them. I liked my aunt, but couldn’t swallow all that went with it. My aunt still remembered then.

When my aunt’s dementia began to take away her facilities on the way to Alzheimer’s, to the shock of my mother and I, he stepped up and took care of things. A man who wouldn’t wipe his feet or boil water. A man who thought women’s roles where as wives and mothers, so men didn’t need to do indoor chores. You get the idea and I’ve written on this before.

So, farewell “Uncle Daddy,” as I called him when I was little and I’d go to stay. I remain proud of your efforts, even if I fought you over coming to see my mother before she died. I faked a few phone calls, to make you and my aunt feel better. My mother didn’t want to talk, then couldn’t talk.

You always made me feel awkward, but sending and receiving cards worked just fine for me. But then I’m awkward with people these days, especially on the phone. But I know that you are back with your beloved, and no longer alone and in pain. Fare-thee-well.

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9 thoughts on “fare-thee-well

  1. luckyjc007 February 28, 2016 / 12:34 am

    Some people don’t seem to respect you until you stand up to them. You accomplished that when preparing the house for a wedding. He probably realized all the things your aunt did for him and the rest of the family when she could no longer take care of things. And, he had to step up to the plate! Changes have been made over the years in regards to the opinion of how Much a woman is suppose to do and What she is suppose to do…according to men. Years ago women stayed home and took care of the home and family, then things changed and she was expected to work outside the home, but still do everything she did before she started working to help with finances. Over time that has even changed. There are a lot of men that help take care of the children and will do things around the house that years back, would have never been done by men. I can remember a time when I worked outside of our home, took care if it, did the laundry and most of taking care of our children’s needs and didn’t think about it much, I just t did it! Now, hopefully in most cases …women who have job outside the home get help with things by their husband…rather they have children added in the mix or not. If both are working…both should share in the responsibilities that go with raising a family and taking care of their needs and the home. You were right in telling things the way the really were and not sugar coating it…and coming to terms with them.

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    • taleweavering March 1, 2016 / 8:11 pm

      Times have changed — at least on the surface. I see more fathers out walking the baby, or taking the child(ren) somewhere than before.
      Unfortunately, the old ways still persist in certain mindsets and cultures. I think that with the increase in life expectancy for men, and the increase in dementia-related illnesses, men like my uncle may find themselves in a position they never thought they would.
      Thanks for the very thoughtful and insightful comment.

      Like

  2. summerstommy2 February 26, 2016 / 4:41 am

    I like this very personal eulogy where for me you address the demons of the past and coming to terms with them. I think its good we can let go and send them off to rest easy…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • taleweavering February 27, 2016 / 3:23 am

      Since my mother died, I have been trying to forgive (even if I have trouble forgetting). It makes the letting go easier, and the left behind feeling more comfortable.
      Some forgivings have been harder, and there are still ones to go.
      Thanks for dropping by and leaving an encouraging comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Suzanne February 26, 2016 / 12:47 am

    You have written the kind of eulogy that really means something. To often when someone dies people say a lot of sentimental stuff that doesn’t really mean much or glosses over the complex nature of some family relationships. I think your uncle daddy would like what you have written.

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    • taleweavering February 26, 2016 / 3:10 am

      Thank you. I agree that often too much is glossed over and relationships that were problematic or troubled become wonderful and strong.
      My family is complex for one so small; seems like all the relationships are/were fraught with some thing.
      But I did admire how he took care of my aunt right until she passed. I never expected it of him. So it shows, I guess, there can be good hidden deep, even if it takes a crisis to bring it out.

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      • Suzanne February 26, 2016 / 5:06 am

        It is strange how people can change in a crisis. My family is very weird too. I rarely see my brothers or sister now mum and dad have gone.

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        • taleweavering February 27, 2016 / 3:27 am

          I don’t have siblings, but I haven’t seen 99% of my immediate family in 20 — 30 years. In fact, I’ve never met my second, and now third cousins.
          Two whole worlds (paternal and maternal) that I’m not a part of. I did divorce myself from certain elements, and the worst had died, but there are times, like this when his extended family is pulling together, I miss being part of something.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Suzanne February 27, 2016 / 5:57 am

            I tend to be very solitary these days. It suits me right now but I can see what you mean about missing certain family members. I found it all got too difficult in the end. So much drama!

            Like

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