Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Uncle Sam

I haven't been around for a bit. This passed week has been a busy and sad time for my family and myself. Last Tuesday, April 15, 2011 I learned that my Uncle Sam, my mother's brother, had a stroke. He was living on Cape Cod in a cottage that he himself had built some 50 years ago. He had just moved there about a year ago, though it had been winterized some time ago. Up until then he had been living locally very near me. I have wonderful memories of going there and staying there with Uncle Sam and Aunt Lucy and my four cousins. It was a two minute walk to the ocean and quite rural for most of my memory. I have not been down there since the late 80's.

Uncle Sam was a robust man with a great sense of humor, who didn't look 81 years old. The last time I saw him was at Christmas time. He did have some health issues as most of us probably do but you would never know it by looking at him. Though he was bald on top he still had jet black hair and no he didn't dye it. His father was exactly the same. He still had jet black hair at 94. On April 14 my sister called him to ask if would like to come up for Easter dinner. The last five years he had spent Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter with my sisters, brother in law and myself instead of his own daughters, two of which live in the same city as we do and one who lives about twenty miles from here. There is friction between at least 3 of his daughters. I don't know what the story is and frankly I don't want to know. The fourth lives in London. I suppose as to not show any favorites and more probably avoid the drama, he spent it with us. The children of his older sister, my mother. Growing up the holidays were always split, Thanksgiving at our house, Christmas at his. They were always noisy and fun gatherings.

Uncle Sam didn't answer the phone when my sister called him. She left a message. He wasn't home. He wasn't feeling well and he drove himself to the hospital. While he was being examined he had a stroke. We drove down on Wednesday. He was hooked up to all the equipment. His pulse and heartbeat were normal. He had been stabalized but he was about to be checked for brain activity. We waited for the results. A short time later the doctor came out and called his childeren into another room. We knew the results by seeing the look on my cousins faces. They had to make a decision. They made it the next day.

As I write this I have just returned from the wake. The funeral is tomorrow (April 20). We will all be gathering at a local retaurant afterwards.


On the left my father's uncle and aunt. On the right my father's cousin.
My mother, right center and uncle Sam in the middle holding me.

I thank you all in advance and hope to rejoin the blogging world in a few days.
Goodbye Uncle Sam. We will miss you.
(The above picture was taken from a broucher made by the funeral home. The April 14 date is wrong.)


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your Uncle. Warm hugs from California.

  2. Paul, I am so very sorry for the loss of your Uncle Sam. Please know that all of your blogging family are with you in spirit.

  3. My deepest sympathy to you and your family.

  4. Sorry to hear of your loss Paul , my sympathy for you and your family.

  5. So sorry for you loss. Sympathies to you and the family.

  6. What a handsome gentleman, Paul! I LOVE his smile and think he would have been a wonderful person to know.

    When Steve and I learn of such a loss, we always tell each other, regarding the person who died: ""Well, he knows all the answers now."

    Paul, your uncle knows all the answers now.

    I'm glad you have good memories of him but sad that you will no longer be able to make new ones with him.

    I am so soory for your loss, my friend.

  7. What a handsome man, Paul. And it seems he was fit and robust up until the last for which I am grateful both for him and the family he so loved.

    I am also grateful with you that you and the family you spoke of were able to see him and as excruciating as it was, to say goodbye to a beloved family member.

    It is sad and it's hard to go on without someone you have known all of your life.

    My deepest condolences and prayers for your entire family will be said.