The week preceding Mother's Day was a week of Beginnings and Endings.
First I found that my last remaining uncle, Uncle Rene, had passed away on the sixth. I went up to the viewing at Farmers Funeral Home after work on Tuesday evening. Sad, but so good to see cousins I rarely get to see. Mostly Uncle Rene and Aunt Norma's children.
There was their oldest, Buzzy. He could always draw Snoopy as good as Charles Schulz. Made him seem real "cool" to me as a youngster. He served in Vietnam and has had to deal with all that entailed. After he was back, he served as a volunteer fireman. That always made him seem real cool to me as a younger adult.
And there was Bruce. Bruce seemed real cool to me, too when I was a teenager. He had a motorcycle at one time and for some reason I'll never understand, mama and daddy let him take me for a ride. It was the days of bell bottoms and he took some curves so tight that they brushed against the pavement. Didn't even scare me, after all, I was with my older, cool cousin. LOL Later he was my idol because he got a beautiful white and blue Mustang Cobra.
And there was Linda. Just a few years older than me. Just enough for me to look up to some. But not so much as she wouldn't play with me as a child. Me and a boy from their home town that I had met at church camp double dated with her and her boyfriend to their senior prom. And I was asked by her to be in her first wedding.
And there was a cousin there from Arkansas as well. Lawrence Wayne. He's one of Aunt Catherine's boys. He had been a Sheriff's Deputy up there at one time. And he and his wife have drove the big rigs up and down the roads.
Of course Aunt Norma was there. She said she just felt numb. No wonder. Mama Ruth and Daddy Jess had let her marry Rene when she was just fifteen, before he left to fight in WWII. By the time he got back she was eighteen. A friend of theirs told a story at the funeral home about the first big fight they had. Said Norma stormed off to the bedroom and began packing her bags to go home to mama. In a little while Rene walked in, got out a bag, threw in a pair of jeans and Norma stopped and asked, "Where are you going?" He looked her in the eyes and said tenderly, "With you."
The Uncle Rene I knew and remember always had something to say. A story, a place to talk about. And when he finished, you almost always walked away feeling like you learned something. He served in the Army Air Corps in the Pacific Theater. Him and Norma both sung in their church choir. They traveled a lot. All their lives, but especially after retirement. They shared a love of photography. Pictures of any and every occasion, place and person in their lives.
What I didn't realize until I watched the wonderful slide show at the funeral home was how truly handsome he had been. How he and Norma loved the beach. Pictures of him in trousers rolled up and a t-shirt, sun shades: looked like a candid snap shot of movie star from by gone days.
My other ending came on Bubba's birthday that Wednesday...it was the first time I was unable to hug, kiss, see, touch my boy on his birthday. His company had sent him to Houston on a job and he was stuck out of town.
See the next post for The Beginnings.