Goodbye Uncle Clarence. I love you.

It is so sad when we lose family.
Sadder when you cannot feel comforted by the family that you have lost that remains.
My dad’s brother-in-law passed away this morning. He was diagnosed with cancer. His wife, my dad’s sister Sally (sara) Smith passed years back with cancer herself. In a time when we can cure so many other disease why are so many of our loved ones dying of a disease that seems so rampant now? I struggle with this.

The last time I spent with my uncle was sitting across from him while we waited in the family waiting room for my Uncle Donald Wallace’s body to arrive to the hospital after he suddenly passed away at home. He was so hurt and was wringing his hands and was so quiet. I gently told him that I would do anything that they needed me to and that I would handle all the calls if he wanted me to because I could see how upset he was. He said “okay.” Shortly my dad arrived and we exchanged several short conversations but they were very soft and quiet and I believe these were the most real conversations I have ever had with my father in my life. However short they were, these were the most serious and adult situations I have ever been in with my father. I had not gone to visit Uncle Clarence in quite some time. I would call and speak to him on the phone, but our last phone call was heartbreaking and I knew it would be our last. He could barely talk and seemed almost unable to form his words. He hung up on me first because it seemed he couldn’t answer the phone and then when he did answer the phone the second time when I called back he sounded like he had been asleep but he said he wasn’t. I think he might have been lying to save face and to keep chatting for a few moments. I quickly got off the phone but not before I told him I loved him and that I would talk to him again soon. I had no idea how sick he had gotten. I knew that the cancer was there, and I had gone to the hospital to see him once before but no one had even given any of us the clue that he was near death until last night. They called my father on Christmas evening to tell him he was in the hospital with pneumonia. I told my mom that I could wear my new pj’s she bought me (they looked like regular clothes actually) to visit him at the hospital before I went home. By this time it was almost 9pm and I was tired. She told me that he just went in so I could go in the morning or today. I had to turn my phone off because I forgot my charger and when I woke up this afternoon, she had texted me. All the text said was Uncle Clarence died at 4am this morning.

He was an United States Army Veteran, he retired from the Army. I was there the day he retired. It was great to be able to say that I was. There was a story about his commanding officer who was black, who had no idea that my grandmother had an intense bigotry about blacks. (Which is NOT shared by myself) So someone (who knows who did it now, I cannot remember) told him to give her a big kiss on the lips and they took a photo or threatened to take a photo…. I thought my grandmother was going to die! That is what I remember from it, that and tickling my cousin until she dropped her drink. It embarrassed her in mess hall and she hated me for it. Those are the biggest memories. I also remember the day that my cousin got married, it was at their house. Always welcoming. He never was mean to any of us kids unless he needed to raise his voice to tell us to tone it down LOL . When Sally died it took his heart because he loved her with his whole heart. He traveled to visit his extended family but he was never happy again fully. He just wanted to be with her.
All I can think of is this poem and I will close with it. With respect to the Author . (This is the first thing I heard when I started this blog. )


Do not go gentle into that good night
Dylan Thomas, 1914 – 1953
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
I love you uncle clarence!!! Rest now.

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