Friday, March 21, 2008

Another round of travels

We're setting off on our first of five plane flights in five days tonight. We'd originally planned on just two flights, but fate has intervened.

My great uncle Ed -- 94-year-old brother to my maternal grandmother -- passed away this week. So instead of flying to Las Vegas tomorrow morning for a short vacation, Rob and I are heading to Cleveland tonight so that we can attend the visitation. My Uncle Ed was a fun-loving man who never married. He and his sister Helen lived out their adult lives together until Aunt Helen passed away in 1999. Every year until 1999, Uncle Ed and Aunt Helen remembered my birthday with a thoughtful card and a small check (always in Aunt Helen's handwriting :).

Uncle Ed loved puns. He had a great joke with the punch line " quarterback" that I wish I could remember now. He told it to me over a decade ago during a family gathering. At the next family gathering I asked him about it because I remembered enjoying the punchline, but I'd forgotten the joke. Turns out he had too. We spent an entire weekend trying to come up with it. :)

Uncle Ed was proud of the fact he never married. He once told me that it was very good for his health. He was rather fond of sexist humor. Never the raunchy stuff, but still I remember being a bit jolted the first time I heard it from him. It was so counter to my impression of him. I think he used that humor fairly sparingly around me. I'm not sure what he knew about my political views, but I'm sure he suspected they weren't in line with the majority in our family.

Uncle Ed hadn't been in good health for quite some time. So I am not surprised at his passing. That never lessens the loss though. I feel the pain particularly for my grandmother, who is one of five children but now has just one sibling left.

After our brief trip to Cleveland, we will belatedly head to Las Vegas, which seems especially sinful. We're meeting Mark and Chris there, so I'm sure they'll turn our spirits around quickly. And due to the last minute flight plan changes, we now have to fly through LA, which means we get to see Libby and Colin (briefly) on Sunday for lunch. A nice and fitting silver lining.

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