It is often hard to decide what to share on my blog. We try to keep it upbeat and with things that we are working on here. This is one of those times where I am not certain how to put in words what I need to say.
Monday, my husband received two back to back calls from his dad and brother, Steven. Larry had taken a day off to just “be” family. Little did we know that he was going to need this day off anyhow. Larry came out of the bedroom after listening to the messages and told me that we needed to talk. OH MY! I knew that something was up. That is never a good sign.
Earl, the oldest of the 3 brothers had passed away… Officials had just notified my father-in-law. It took them a week to find next of kin. WHAT?!? How can I respond? Larry and I sat for several hours trying to figure out what to say to our children. We sat holding hands, crying and praying. We are in disbelief. HOW could this happen?
Berlyn especially has such a strong bond with Earl. This has hit him really hard. Many times on Tuesday, he would just sit and wail, uncontrollable sobbing.
Earl’s passing comes with a bit of surprise, although Larry and I had talked about it before, years ago. Earl had struggled in the past. He had gotten help. He was on an up and up or so we thought. He unfortunately hid a lot from us and the rest of the family. Addictions can come in all different forms, whether legal drugs, alcohol, illegal drugs, etc. For our Beloved Uncle Earl, it was legal ones. Ones that were prescribed to him for a back injury that he received many years ago while in the army. He had done everything that he could to tame the pain, to live a normal life. This was the only thing that he had control of… and he knew that. We would like to think that his passing was peaceful, it was in a place that he love with a view of a lake out in the wilderness. All day yesterday and today, I have asked the “why” and I know that that answer left with him. The tears have not stopped and that is OK. This is not anyone’s fault and I hope that no one in the family blame themselves for this. This is just something that happened. And nothing could have changed it.
What have I learned from this? I have learned that we never know the demons that our loved ones suffer. I have learned that our veteran’s need more… more attention… more love and more medical / psych.
Hug your loved ones. Check regularly on them. Make sure that you get them help if you notice anything. Tell them that you love them and that you will always be there for them. Be honest!
I will always remember him taking me to a movie on an evening that Larry had to work while were all living in Ely, NV. I will remember his goofy “voices” that he would make at the kids, how he would torment my cats, how he and Larry would have 2+ hour phone conversations about NOTHING! I remember him holding and loving each of my children for the very first time. I remember how much he teased Larry about dating a “younger girl” in high school when he was home on leave and the incredible hug that he gave me on my wedding day to his brother telling me how much he loved Larry and I. I will always remember the phone call that we got from him to tell us that he was going to be a dad. And all of that Mountain Dew he used to drink.
I can’t get over how he will never see his grandchildren or mine, how we all won’t grow old together and how he will never again log into the online game that he and Larry would play for hours because even living far away, they could still have brother time. I will never hear that voice again.
I have stories, Oh, do I have stories and I will pass them onto my children and to his daughter. I will make sure that his grandchildren know who he is!