Thursday, April 15, 2010

April is the Cruelest Month

Or so says T.S. Eliot in his poem called "The Waste Land". Not that I have read the entire poem - it's 434 lines, after all, and made up of 5 rambling and diverse parts, all dealing with different subjects, some lines written in foreign languages. What's that all about??

Nevertheless, the first few lines of the poem:

"April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain."

have always rung true for me, and more so since my dad died in April 5 years ago. Last week, his only sibling, his younger brother Ron, also passed away.

If you'd asked them, they probably would have said they weren't much alike and didn't have much in common. Anyone who knew them both knew that wasn't true. They were both quick to see the funny side of a situation, sometimes sarcastic, always opinionated, kind-hearted men.

My Uncle Ron was the type of person who would be one of the first to offer to help out with any job that might need doing. His wife, my Aunt Barb, is like that too. Several years ago, when I was moving into my first house, without me even having to ask, Ron and Barb offered to bring their van over and load it up with boxes to take from the old place to the new one. When my new fridge was delivered in the midst of this process, it was Ron who figured out that in order to get it inside, we needed to take the front door off. He asked me for my tool box and quickly got to work taking the hinges apart, then helped muscle the fridge up the front stoop and into the kitchen (that's him on the left in the photo). That's just the kind of guy he was. He was an engineer, so of course that's how his mind worked, always sorting out the solution to any problem.

It's hard for us to wrap our heads around the idea that he is gone. We weren't expecting it. He was only 70, after all. He'd had a cancer scare back around Christmas but that had been resolved surprising quickly and easily. In the end, it was his heart that gave out. I'm glad for his sake that it was quick and easy. Having watched my dad waste away with cancer, I wouldn't wish that on anyone. Still, for those of us left behind, and especially my aunt, my two cousins and their children, it's not so easy and it won't be at all quick to get over the pain of the loss. Unfortunately, that's just the way it works.

Thank you to all for your kinds words and hugs over the past few days and today at the funeral, it is much appreciated.

I shall end this post with a picture of my mom and dad in the front seat of a car and Ron and Barb in the back. I think it's around 1964 and may have been taken at my aunt and uncle's wedding but I'm not entirely sure (I'll have to check with my mom). I just like it because they're all happy and having fun, my dad's smoking a cigar, Barb is gazing adoringly at handsome Ron, the ladies are wearing hats and gloves - it's such a sweet photo all around.

1 comment:

Heather said...

What a lovely tribute...hang in there friend.