Sunday, February 03, 2008

saturday sadness

My dear brother-in-law Ron's niece died today. Jackie (on right) was only 28 years old. I only had the pleasure of meeting Jackie as few times - at Beth and Ron's wedding and at her grandfather's funeral in September, where this photograph was taken. Her funeral is Thursday at Saint Hedwig Catholic Church in South Bend.


My Uncle Cletus (85) is in St. Vincent's Hospital in Indianapolis. They are not sure what is wrong with him yet (they've ruled several things out). He was flown- helicoptered, from Logansport Friday evening. Right now he's being weaned off of a ventalator. I'm sure he's hating every second of this. Uncle Cletus has always been very active. I've never seen him sit still for longer than it takes to eat supper. He's the healthiest eater that I know. I learned about steaming vegetables from him!

Uncle Cletus a retired farmer, as retired as farmers ever get. He's still active on Cousin Leo's farm; organizing, painting, sweeping and feeding the dog. He is always dressed in at least two flannel shirts, overalls and a hat. He is always chilly and sleeps in a sock cap. It is hard seeing him in the hospital bed, wearing just a gown. No hat, no flannel.

As awful as all of that is, I feel guilty saying that I had fun at the hospital. There is a nice family room near the ICU unit. Dad and Cletus are from a family of nine children, and Cletus and Mary Alice had six children and they all have children. As you can imagine, there was lots of storytelling, laughter and card playing. Nothing like being surrounded by cousins.

[update: Uncle Cletus is off of the ventalator and is breathing on his own. Hopefully he'll be back home by the end of the week.]

9 comments:

Granny Annie said...

It is a contrast to see the death of such a young woman and to see the long time life and health of Uncle Cletus. The awareness comes that age does not matter when someone you love is gone or at risk.

Bless the hearts of you and all your loved ones at this time.

I know about that hospital fun. It is very difficult to explain but somehow the strange gatherings strenthen us.

Cliff said...

I'm so sorry to hear of these concerns for you and yours. Blessings on you Nora.

Janell said...

Nora - thanks for stopping by OSM. I think I'm in love with your Uncle Cletus. I hope he gets back on his feet. You shouldn't feel guilty for sharing love and laughter with your family at the hospital. You'll probably be doing more of it at the upcoming funeral. You are all helping each other through a difficlut time.

Janell said...

By the way, I love your new FFA jacket. Would you like to borrow my dad's bowling shirt to wear with it? It would look good on you! :)

Ralph said...

Nora
We'll keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers. Your Uncle Cletus looks and sounds like quite the character - in a good way.
Ralph

Rachel said...

Oh your poor Uncle Cletus. I hope he is better now. Reminds me of my Dad who wore his flannel shirts, cap, and overhalls!

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Nora - Sorry to hear about the death in the family. It is always hard when it is someone so young. I hope your Uncle Cletus makes a full recovery and is out of the hospital soon.

My thoughts are with you.
Lisa

Jerry said...

Ron's family has had a bad streak lately, haven't they? And he's always such a happy guy. How sad.

Hope Uncle Cletus is on the mend. Those old farmers just don't belong in hospitals.

Take care.

terah said...

I love Uncle Cletus' smile! It brightened my day!