Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My sister Linda called with news our cousin Louise died--

Louise is Stewart's sister. I was having such a terrible time to write about Stewart's death which occurred when I around 9 or so. Raymond and I were talking about it today and he was asking me questions all about Stewart. I planned to write my memoir entry tomorrow. It is no wonder my feelings of sorrow were so heavy about Stewart who died when he was around twenty two. I didn't know it, but his sister Louise was about to join him in death. She was born in 1927 so she would be 85. That is not really a sad passing as Stewart's was. His sister Roma, 88, is the only one left of 8 children. I want to note Louise's passing and I will go ahead and try to write my memoir entry tomorrow about Stewart.
I told my sister Linda I would spend the evening meditating. In the midst of life there are always people passing to that other realm. When Raymond drove up this morning to pick me up, there were two fire engines and an ambulance out front. They rolled out my neighbor on the 9th floor who looked quite ill, but he is an older man who has been in poor health for quite some time. He will go gentler into the night than younger ones who have hardly begun to live before they are gone.
I don't know if my sister LaRae who passed over 20 years ago will want to speak to me at this time.
LARAE: I do and I have brought Ray and Ravoe with me. 'Bo' (Ravoe) is a dear friend of Mother's and you have been closer to Ray and Park than to any others in the family.
RAY: Hello, Gerry, we are all here. Louise has come to join us. Thank God, Max got her dog Butler operated on, so she would not die of grief.
GERRY: Hello, Ray, how do you like it over there?
RAY: I am ready for reincarnation. Oh, I am only kidding.
GERRY: Ann has just had a visit from Linda who told her our cousin Dan was burned badly in his plane crash. I felt bad, as it always seems like that would be a hard way to go.
RAY: Stewart is okay. But our mother took his death so hard Park and I did not dare die for years. We were afraid it would kill her.
LARAE: Gerry, Dan is following his wife Linda as she goes through Utah and visits his family. He is hoping his sons and daughter will eventually contact Ann.
GERRY: Okay, I will tell her. Ann is the great communicator. She keeps track of all the relatives.
LARAE: Yes, she does. Ravoe and I have become good friends. She feels she missed out by never returning to Boulder to hang out as Ray and Park did. Park is with Louise.
GERRY: I want to talk to Park sometime when he is ready to talk.
LARAE: Some will read your memoirs. Some not. Ravoe is reading them. She says they would upset Roma. Roma is more conventional in her thinking. Ravoe says she likes how you valued her brothers.
GERRY: We who were the children of the alcoholic sons have more in common. We had to love our alcoholic fathers more than our mothers did. Or who else would?
LARAE: Ravoe says she is glad someone loved her father and brothers as she did not think people did. She also says she had a drinking problem at one time. I think Louise may have done, too. Those alcoholic genes! Of course Roma never did.
GERRY: Roma reminds me so much of Aunt Neta and Aunt Nethella.
RAVOE: They were her role models. She spent all those years in Garland. She really took to both of the aunts.
RAY: I loved Aunt Nethella. We could always go back to the ranch and stay with her. She was hospitable to us. She tried to take Grandma King's place.
RAVOE: Mom just had too many kids too fast. She was a nervous wreck. She said it was just too hard being a King.
GERRY: All the King brothers' wives divorced them.
RAVOE: It is no wonder. Dad would come home drunk and terrorize the family. He had a bad temper and was a fright when he drank. I was glad to have him gone.
GERRY: Grandpa King had a bad temper which may be why he vowed never to drink. He knew he would be too mean for sure.
RAVOE: Dad should have taken the vow not to drink, too. Grandma King was lucky. I always wondered why his boys did not follow Grandpa's example.
GERRY: I doubt if you are ready for my theories, but I do think there was a big problem there in Grandma and Grandpa living apart in the winter so the children could go to school in Escalante.
RAVOE: Mom said she hated living in Boulder and Salt Gulch was impossible.
GERRY: But bad things happened to the families that did not stay together.
RAVOE: She always hated it that Dad started running the Salt Gulch ranch, but ranching was all he knew.
GERRY: Mother did not like Salt Gulch either.
RAVOE: Louise said she liked Escalante. She had friends there.
RAY: I got my sexual education in Escalante before I ever left there at seven years old.
RAVOE. Mom was naive. She thought Escalante was a nice town, but the boys found the wildest boys in town to hang out wih.
GERRY: Your brothers were wild tough boys. They were cowboys. I will never forget Stewart on a horse. Tall and slender with that flaming red hair. Looked like he was born on a horse.
RAVOE: I hardly remember. I wish I could remember my brother like that. You see him as this romantic figure. I have heard about Death Holler trail. How Uncle Max was killed in a rodeo and my brothers always aspired to be just like him. I never saw Stewart again until just a few years ago. To think Louise will be reunited with him after so many years of not seeing him. My brother Ward, too, who was your age, who died of pneumonia. He was like a stranger to me when I saw him again but as I talk to him more I see family characteristics. My mother buried two of her sons. That nearly killed her. I think it did kill my dad, that and the disgrace he brought on the family and the upset he caused us with his drinking.
GERRY: Our dad was a very bad drinker, too. He could be mean.
RAVOE: I loved Aunt Irene. She was like a mother to me when I was living in Hawaii. She always laughed. We had so much fun with her. My husband just loved her, too. We thought you had cracked up like Uncle Reed. Ray told us Naw, Gerry is all right. She is not crazy or anything like that. He and Max were buddies until Max got mad at him over some awful thing he did when he was drunk.
RAY: Yeah, I repeated family history. I always drank too much. Max could be crazy when she got mad. I worry about her son Jim now he's got a bad heart. Jim was a good guy.
RAVOE: I intend to spend as much time as I can with Louise the next few months. LaRae has been very good to me. I learned to love LaRae because Aunt Irene talked about her a lot, how good she was to her. You and your mom did not seem to get along as well.
GERRY: No, I was her first born so she was determined to whip me into shape!
RAVOE: I see what you mean. Well, I wasn't her daughter so she could just accept me. We are still good friends.
LARAE: Now we have to go.
RAVOE: Thank you for thinking about us. It is going to be hard for me to read your memoir about my brother Stewart's death. It was a terrible time for our family.
GERRY: Bye now.

Practically the only two photos I have of any of Uncle Glen's family. The top one is Ray, two years older than I am, when he was in the navy. Park is a couple of years younger than Stewart. Stewart was born in 1919 and Park in 1921. He lived on the ranch, joined the navy and then the Merchant Marine and went around the world a number of times. He called himself 'an old salt' kind of like an old cowboy I imagined. Tonight all six of Uncle Glen's children are united with a seventh, Louise. Roma is 88, the last one still alive of Uncle Glen's family but some have left their descendants to carry on.


Missie said...

I'm sorry about the death of your cousin. Sending hugs.

Amrita said...

Sorry to hear about you losing your loved one.

May you be comforted.

Connie said...

So very sorry that Louise has passed. My prayers and hugs for you and your family.


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