Print Story Milestones
By Gedvondur (Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 10:12:42 AM EST) death, Ron, uncles, family, Obama, hope (all tags)
Death and inauguration. 


My father called me last night.  His only brother, my uncle Ron has been pretty seriously ill for quite some time.  My father was at his brother's apartment, the end was near.

This morning, my father called again.  Ron had passed away, about two-thirty in the morning.  A not unexpected blow but a strong one none the less.  Ron had lived about twenty years longer than he should have, the vast majority of them good, healthy years beyond what should have been his death.  Ron had inherited a family disease, polycystic kidneys.  I can point out several people in our family tree in the last century that succumbed to kidney disease.  Its genetic and there is no cure.  Ron got a transplant from his sister and lived in good health from it for years.  In the end, damage to his heart from the transplant years ago and a more recent procedure three years ago to excise colon cancer proved to be too much.  His heart was shot and he was too sick to even consider another transplant.  He died at home, in home hospice care with his son, his wife, and his girlfriend there.  (Yes, I said girlfriend as well.  It's not a mistake, and I'm not going into that.)

I cannot imagine what my Aunt is feeling now.  A piece of her has literally died when Ron passed away.  Its hard to think about. 

Ron is the first of my uncles to pass away.  I'm almost 40, I tend to think that I have been lucky thus far.  Death has not stayed his hand in my life, but his brush has certainly been lighter than it could have been.  Ron was a computer guy, like me.  The only other one in the family.  In the 1960s began working on computers (boxcar sized machines)  for the Army in Germany while my father joined the Air Force and went to Vietnam.  Ron worked white collar jobs his whole life, mostly executive positions in IT.  My father worked as a machinist and later a paper mill worker for 22 years, blue collar his entire life. 

Yet Ron never had it as together has my father has always had.  I'm not sure why.  Ron never tired of drinking and smoking in bars, of going out and "having a few."  He wasn't an alcoholic, but the feel of a bar and the atmosphere were something he always craved.  To him, to have a good time was to go to a bar to drink and talk.  I understand that, I enjoy a good conversation over drinks at a quiet bar myself.  Or tavern, as we call them here.  I think the best way to sum up Ron, although I think this may have too many negative connotation was that he was a playboy.  Yet he was a serious man, without the frivolity that the title "playboy" would imply.

Ron showed me one of the first computers I ever saw, his Apple and then later his Apple II.  On those times when we would get together, we would discuss technical issues, IT issues and all of those things that I simply could never talk about to anyone else in the family.  We would talk about our family and its history.  While we would go long stretches without talking, when we did get together we always enjoyed each others company.  Ron was one of the few relatives of his generation I had that would take the time to look me up, to make time to see me even when there was no reason other than I was his nephew and he enjoyed my company.  I saw him more than I saw his son, who is only a year younger than I am.  

I'm going to miss Ron.  He love to drive and would do so for hours at a time, with no particular destination.  His occasional presence in my life is something I am going to miss.  The funeral will be some time this week.

President Obama

I watched the inauguration streamed live on CNN at home and listened to the speech on NPR on the way to lunch.  Inspiring stuff.  The man actually makes me proud to be an American again.  I don't think that is something I have been able to say for a long long time.  He may disappoint me at some juncture, but I will always be grateful to Obama for showing me that bigotry and ignorance hadn't won a decisive and lasting victory during the Bush years.  It had gotten to the point where I couldn't remember what it was not like to despair over the basis of ignorance and small-mindedness that was Bush policy.  See, I am getting better all the time.  I didn't even say "Republican policy".

I wish President Obama the best, even though the situation he has been handed is a Texas sized shit sandwich.  He proved me wrong, I had predicted that the first black president would be a conservative.  While Obama is certainly no liberal, regardless of what Faux News thinks, he is much farther to the left than I had predicted the first black president would be.  The American people surprised me and in a pleasant way.  Merely electing him brings more hope than I could have ever reasonably expected considering recent elections of the last 15 years.  Not we shall see how it goes.

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Milestones | 4 comments (4 topical, 0 hidden)
Ron sounds like a cool uncle by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 10:52:34 AM EST

Thanks by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 10:59:58 AM EST
He was.  It's sad that he's gone.


"I love my brain. It's the only organ I can afford to lose." --frijolito
[ Parent ]
Was he older, or younger than your father? [nt] by debacle (4.00 / 1) #3 Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:36:13 PM EST


Older by Gedvondur (4.00 / 1) #4 Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:47:43 PM EST
By two years.


"I love my brain. It's the only organ I can afford to lose." --frijolito
[ Parent ]
Milestones | 4 comments (4 topical, 0 hidden)