The terrible part of coming from a family with so many elders is that as they age tiny parts of you feel as if they're withering.
Growing up there are the family gatherings and talks. Pictures and funny stories. And then, inexplicably, the elders start to fade. Great uncles and aunts become grayer. Great grans pass on and the family somehow becomes smaller.
My uncle Joe, who could never ever remember our names, passed this week. He was such a handsome man. Fun to be around. One of my grandpa's many brothers. He called my sisters and I the "LaLa Girls" whether we were all standing together or in separate parts of the house.
I don't want to lose anyone else.I just don't want them to leave, because they know things I can't possible know. They have seen things I can only imagine. But they are going anyway. Slipping from us one by one.
When I heard the news of Uncle Joe's passing I almost ran from Starbucks and sped over to my Papa's house. I just needed to see him and feel his hug and hear his voice.
Sit on the couch that was made before I was born. See the turtle figurines he has collected over the years. Thank God he was home. And that he felt like talking.
He had stories to tell and I had ears to listen. That I suppose is the upside of everything. The fact that I still have some elders here to love and to hold