Our mother died of ovarian cancer on June 30, 1982. I started law school in Sacramento that August. The following summer our dad wanted to visit his mother and sister and other relatives.
So after my last final, Dad picked up Melodie and I and we drove to Polson, Montana. We picked up Dan, Dianna, and her children, headed to Whitefish, Montana where we boarded a train for Minneapolis, Minnesota. The ride was beautiful, long and tedious.
I remember that Dan got no sleep during that 24 hours because he didn't fit any of the chairs. The only comfortable chairs were in the lounge which was the smoking car.
I smoked then and even for my four pack a day habit, that car was BAD. The windows were coated in tar and god knows what other substances. The air visibly moved as you walked through it. Dan refused to go there. He refused to sit near me if I had been in there!
When we got to Gramma's house we found that we all got to sleep in the rec room in the basement. That included our father who was a champion snorer. None of us (except Dad) got any sleep.
This all came up because Dianna sent me some pictures that Dan had taken while we were there. Dan isn't in any of them, of course. But they brought back memories.
As I looked at them I realized that many of the people there were now with Dan. Or Dan is now with them. My gramma is gone. She lived well into her 90's. My aunt Lois is gone. She died of lung cancer two years ago. My cousin Paul is gone. My father is gone.
So tonight I am melancholic. I grieve over Daniel still but I miss the other members of my family as well. I laughed at some of the memories in those pictures. They showed our father dealing with his grief by being with his family.
I think there is a lesson there.
I think I will give my other brother a call.
Hey, Bill, howya doin'?