a cousin of mine is on the brink of the end of his days. he is in pennsylvania, i in oregon. worlds apart, through no fault of his.
i suppose i could've moved back east in my younger days and found gainful employment there, but the risk was great enough that i stepped back from the opportunity and remained where i was comfortable, and therefore lost the chance to live close to the bulk of my extended family.
but at what cost? to move away from hearth and home, mother, dad, brother? (sister was already gallavanting across the globe, seemingly footloose and fancy-free.) to uproot wife and child and tear them away?
why not? we were already 65o miles away in california. why not east?
were my notions of living among the family fold east of the mississippi realistic, or folly?
i can only say this: i had a chance, and took it not. mea culpa.
gene, for what it's worth, my greatest regret is that i saw not nearly enough of you during your time here, and that i had the stupidity to remain out of touch as much as i did.
there'll be a hole where you once were, the depth and breadth of which i cannot fathom.
of this i am certain: for the support and love you gave my mother, especially in her time of grief, i am eternally grateful. you are the closest to a brother that my mother has in life, and you will be sorely missed, by more people and more than you can possibly know.
may God bless you, gene thompson, husband, father, doctor, healer. may He hold a special place for you in Heaven. say hello to josephine and john, to jeanne and hughie, to my dad, and to all of your other relations who i had not the pleasure to know in my lifetime. they are all waiting for you with open arms and hearts.
peace be with you.