Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Longer We Live...

...the more loved ones we lose. On very early Tuesday morning, I lost my brother Raymond (Onkel Raymond to my kids). He was 61, would have been 62 had he made it until late next month. He suffered from COPD and emphysema for too long but had a loving and caring wife, Lorraine, who literally was with him right up until the end.We were not the closest of brothers but he was my brother, the only one I ever had or will ever have and I miss him already. Luckily, for me, my sister-in-law called me on Monday afternoon to let me know he had taken a turn for the worse and I got to stop by to see him on Monday evening. 

It is funny, in a coincidental sort of way, how sometimes people who are near death say things that seem to have been almost prophetic of their own passing.Well, at least they seem so when viewed in retrospect. For instance, during my visit, Ray told both Lorraine and I that he wanted both of us to go home because he wanted to sleep. Of course, Lorraine was already home since we were in Ray's and Lorraine's house, but now one gets the idea maybe he wanted to be alone because he knew that he was about to sleep his most peaceful sleep ever. When I saw him, I never would have guessed he would pass just a half hour or so into the next morning, just a few hours after I said goodbye.

At least he is not suffering now but he sure was suffering from his illnesses. He was a LONG time smoker, did not even give it up after a lobe of one of his lungs was removed, a few years back, due to an infection. If you are young and reading this, heed some words of good advice - don't smoke - or quit smoking if you already smoke.

Yesterday., my sister and I visited my mom. We broke the news to her and she took it better than I would have expected but she knew he had been ill, she even remembered that regardless of her dementia.

Today, Brendan and I visited Lorraine to help cheer her up and to, at her request, go through Ray's things to see if there was anything we would like, of his, as a reminder of him. I took a hunting knife that I gave him years ago and a fishing pole since we used to fish together years ago. The knife, was a Schrade Old Timer 150T (made in the USA). Brendan found a bayonet that Lorraine let him take and he also took a power drill (I am wondering why on that one but he liked it right away for whatever reason). As for the bayonet,  I wonder where that came from, may have already been in their house when they bought it, Raymond was not a collector of such things as far as I know. It is an m27 bayonet by Fiskars, quite the find. Probably not worth a lot due to condition but quite the wall hanger and an interesting relic indeed. See this page, a little less than half way down

I also spent some time cataloging his stuff so I can help Lorraine sell it. There were a lot of tools, a good amount of almost like new power tools among them, some fishing poles, other odds and ends and whatever. I still have a long way to go in that regard, more stuff to catalog, especially photographic items, then I have to figure a good asking price.Then, I suppose, a garage sale and or sales on EBay.

On Sunday, Lorraine is hosting a memorial luncheon to remember and celebrate his life. For those of us still here, life goes on, our turns to sleep, as peacefully as Ray, have not yet arrived.

All the best,
Glenn B
(written on Brendan's laptop, I am still computer-less and apparently will be for awhile, so do not expect more than a few blog posts a week at best)