Friday, March 19, 2010

Together (Again) and R.I.P. Uncle J

My uncle J died today--he was 81.  I wrote about him in my "Letters Home" series here.  He was in Korea while my dad went through basic training and did his Army service in Germany. Uncle J lived a good long time and died suddenly at home this morning. He had a wife (they were married 58 years), four children, and four grandchildren.

There he is together with my father in a photo dated 1960 (the year I was born) at a place named Long Lake, WI.  I don't recognize those yellow wetsuits (they look too baggy to be wetsuits).  My mother always teased my dad that he was "the best dressed man underwater"; this was meant to (ahem) compensate for a certain nonchalance on land shall we say?  Anyway, those wetsuits might be early Dunlop suits which appeared in the early '60's before every wet suit became--to paraphrase Henry Ford--available in every color so long as it was black.  I can tell them apart by the stances. Uncle J was always heavier set than my dad.

To be the oldest in a family, especially a larger family, must be akin to being a parent (but what would I know: I'm the youngest in a very small family).  I looked up some family history tonight: Uncle J. was the oldest in a family of eight. My father was third-born and the second boy out of five. I think that older siblings make a lot of mistakes which the younger ones can avoid just by observing. I know my dad looked up to him his whole life and maybe now they are both together again, looking down at me--at least I hope so.  R.I.P Uncle J.


  1. Aww. This was beautiful. Together again!

    So sorry to hear, though.

  2. Aww, thanks Darcy! We get by though, and life goes on!

  3. My condolences. I'm sure he and your father are looking down with favor on their good nephew and son.