Sunday, May 29, 2011
Memorial Day 2011
My grandmother Marge lost both her sons too early. My Uncle Dick died of peritonitis after a fall. He was on a ladder trying to paint the side of his house. Uncle Dick trusted his doctor too long, saying to his wife, "He's from Indiana, like I am. I know he'll take good care of me." Nothing against the Hoosier state--and I grew up there so I count myself as one--but Uncle Dick was wrong. His wife Eleanor finally said, "Enough!" and had him transported to Massachusetts General. Shortly afterwards, he died at age 44 of cardiac arrest after he became septic.
My father suffered a series of heart attacks, and eventually died of congestive heart failure. His three or four packs of cigarettes a day caused massive damage to his heart. He was only 48.
Grandma Marge loved both her boys. Uncle Dick joined the army and went into Korea. My father was in the navy in Trinidad. Both men were proud to serve their country.
Grandma planted peonies in her yard, thinking that the time of their blooming would coincide with Memorial Day. Some years it did. Some years it didn't.
This weekend, the peonies bloomed in my back yard. I thought about my uncle and my father, who both died after serving their country. And my grandmother who outlived both her sons.