The Last Ones Standing

I lost my mother on December 16, 2015. I lost my dad on April 22, 2017. My grandparents are long gone, all of my aunts are gone, and all of my uncles are gone except for one; Unkie. I still have two of my cousins as well.

Recently my wonderful cousin Marie and her husband, Joe, moved Unkie from Florida to Brewer, ME where he lives in a beautiful apartment in the Ellen M. Leach Memorial Home. Marie and Joe live nearby, and visit him almost on a daily basis.

The Crankee Yankee and I went up a few weeks ago to visit him, and were happy to see that he is adjusting well to his new home (his apartment is spacious and comfortable). Unkie has been an important part of my life since I was a baby.

My mother had three older brothers; Owen, Buddy and Ray (Unkie). Over the years Owen and Buddy passed on, and Unkie and Mom were left. Their mother died of cancer when Mom was just 14 years old, and she moved in with Unkie and handled all the cleaning and cooking.

When she married at age 18, she had me a year later. Unkie was the uncle I was most familiar with, and he was an important part of my childhood. He was the uncle I knew best and I loved him dearly.

I still do today. He and I are the last ones; all of our family has gone on. His wife, Dottie, died in 2013. When we all got together in our visit, we laughed at being the last ones standing. How wonderful that he is in my life; the last part of my family.

Our loved ones have gone on, but I picture them all in my mind as I saw them last. I imagine that they are all glad to be together again, and with all the time in Heaven to remember old times and places. Mom especially left me a legacy of our ancestors when she put together and self-published her work of genealogy, “*Christian Feero, Loyalist of New Brunswick.”

I will end this post with the epilogue Mom wrote:

*”How I wish I could write a book” my grandmother would sigh wistfully as she concluded an evening of recollections about her early life in New Brunswick.

In the dusk of summer evenings and in the lamplight that softened winter nights, Nannie rocked in her chair and re-lived her life aloud. I was her frequent listener – often a willing one – sometimes bored, but like all children, encouraging the diversion to postpone bedtime.

“Nannie’s stories” imprinted my childhood with second-hand memories of people, places and events. Nannie’s life became almost as real to me as my own.

Was I with them as children when she and her brother tethered little field mice to sticks and pretended they were their cattle? Was I berrying with them when the moose chased them? Did I cry when her only sister died? Did I touch the silken fabric of her garnet wedding dress? (It was patterned with tiny rosebuds). Did I feel the homesickness as a young bride far away from home, and the sadness of the loss of my firstborn child? Did my bones ache with fatique after long days of cleaning, washing and cooking for a family and crew of hired men? Was it my laughter or hers that pealed at the antics of a neighbor or the comical expressions of a relative? Whose joy at births…whose sorrow at deaths?

Who really wrote this book?”

 

 

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