Death is never easy, especially for a loved one such as my mother who passed in the early morning of the 29th. There was no shock, I and my brothers and sister knew it was coming.

My father who passed away in late November 2008 was expected as well, but my mother’s death is far different, different emotionally in the sense that there’s a certain tragedy in it. My mother was the last, all her siblings, my two uncles, my grandparents, my aunt Lil, all preceded my mom along with all my cousins on her side, save one.

These are people I grew up with, people that as a child, I thought were immortal. Turns out, immortality lasts only as long as memories last.

As I set here thinking, there’s another, not tragic, but realistic aspect of my mother’s death that’s probably more common, and disturbing than what most people consider. That’s the relationships of surviving children. The only comparison I can make is that relationship my parents had with their siblings.

My father left home at an early age and never lived in the state of Iowa again, meaning there was a physical distance between him and his brothers and sisters, but that didn’t stop him from loving them, because he did. The miles between them were in the thousands at times, but my dads love for his birth family never wavered, and that’s why I know most all my cousins down in corn country.

My mothers’ parents were farmers and the best memories of my life are there on that farm, along with my mom’s other brothers who always had one of us nephews hanging on. I especially remember the cold crisp winter mornings, grandma cooking delicious chunks of fat, milk thick as cream as we all sat around the small breakfast table. There were times my mom was embarrassed by her brothers, other times she outright mighta been disgusted by ‘em cuz they were both hell raisers, especially in their youth. But there ain’t no doubt she always loved them.

I’ve got three younger brothers and an older sister, and by God, I love them all. Don’t always agree with them, even had a couple of fights with all of them over the years. Usually over stupid stuff, like politics.

Did I say I love them all. Good, because here’s where the tragedy sets in. Two of my brothers live out east, and my sister lives out west. They have their own lives, their own families, and with my mothers passing, there’s no connection for my brothers to ever return to this area. My sister has a daughter in the area, and grandchildren as well, but her visits here are limited.

There’s a damn good chance I won’t see two of my brothers again in this lifetime. That’s disturbing.

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