Mar 052011

I hate receiving sad news, especially when it involves my family.

Thinking that I would get to bed at a respectable hour, I would glance at Facebook one last time and head to bed.

Yeah, well, things are not always as you plan.

Before me was the post from my cousin, Laurie.  Her father, my uncle, had passed away that afternoon.  I sat there, staring at the screen, kinda numb.  Levern was 92 and had lived a full life, but that didn’t make it any easier.  I last talked to my uncle one year ago when we had buried his wife, Wava.  He was still sharp as a tack, and memories flooded back to me of spending so much time at their house in the summer when I was young.  My cousin Kelly would be up from Arizona during those summers and stay with them, so I was a constant presence at their house.

With the passing of my uncle, my father is the last surviving member of the family.  True, the lineage of the family still lives on through us kids and our kids, but its history tends to get lost as more years pass by.

Last summer one of my cousins sent me this picture.  This is my dads family, I would guess circa mid-1940’s.  My dad is the youngest (front row, 2nd from left), and I’m guessing that Levern is top, far right (family, please correct me on this if I am wrong).  I love looking at this photo because it shows what my grandfather looked like (whom I’d never met, since he passed away before I was born).  It also shows some of my history.  A rather large family that had a successful diary farm (still run by my cousin Jim) and you can truly see that they are a happy.  (Trust me on this.)

So, I will be making the long trip down to my hometown to pay my respects to this wonderful man, and connect once again with my family that I do not see very often.

And I know that this will also be a time of smiles and tears as we reflect on his life (and ours) and how time passes way to quickly and the only times we seem to see each other is at funerals.

And then we will part ways and go on with the lives that we have chosen for ourselves.   But each time we do so, brings about a change, knowing that another member of the family has left us.  But as my mom taught me many years ago, this is all part of life and we must accept it (she was such a wise woman).  And I remember those words not just at times like this, but every time I hit a bump in the road where I am forced to face something not quite to my liking.

I’m sorry if this post is turning out to be a total bummerfest.  That was not my intention.

I guess I simply needed to share.

  13 Responses to “Sad News”

Comments (13)
  1. Thank you for sharing this Mom, it’s a wonderful photo. I would also guess that Levern is on the top far right, many of the features look like I remember him as. He will be missed very much, he was a wonderful man, very well liked and love with everyone. I will also be with you to pay my respects.

  2. Thanks honey, that means alot. I’m really glad that I had this photo.

  3. I agree with Colie. And I don’t remember ever seeing this photo, unless it was one where you would say, “Want to see what Grandpa looked like with hair?” lol

  4. LOL @ the hair remark! Glad that I could share it. I think Dee came across it last summer and sent out an email about making copies of it for whoever wanted it. I’ll have to remind her of that.

  5. Hahaha I also had forgotten that Grandpa was the baby of the family!

  6. What a beautiful memoir, Sandy! Thanks so much for sharing it, although it made me cry. So many tears, but they are necessary for healing, so I let them come and then I am all red-eyed and blotchy-faced. Not my most beautiful look. There are so many things about my father that could be said, but the summation I have come up with is, “He was a good man. He did no one harm. He was a damn stubborn Norwegian, and a real character!” And yes, Dad is the one on the top right. They are (top row, left to right) David, Curtis, Alice, Gordon, and Levern. On the bottom row, left to right, are Grandma Caroline, Sterling, Stewart, and Grandpa Edward. And yes, mid-forties sounds about right, because I was born in 1943, and Sterling is seven years older than I, and in the picture he appears to be nine or ten? Anyway, good job, Sandy, I enjoyed your memories and reflections. Love, Laurie

  7. Dang, Laurie, didn’t mean to make you cry!

    I love your summation, especially about being a damn stubborn Norwegian (hmmm… know anybody else like that? LOL). Thank you for properly labeling everyone in the picture, it really helps.

    BTW you are always beautiful!! *Hugs and love*

  8. I love your memorial to grandpa. This is beautiful. I have seen this picture many times. It hung in the stairwell at the house. I would stare at it for hours beacuse it showed the Larson’s when they were young and Great-Grandpa whom I had never met. I was always amazed at how much Levern looked like his father. And how young your father looked.
    Damn stubborn Norwegian he may have been, but one of the my fondest memories is cuddling up with him in “his” chair and reading The Three Little Bears to me. And how safe I felt in his arms.
    Love you, Kelly

  9. Thanks for sharing, Sandy.

  10. What a great memory, Kelly. The vision of you and Levern cuddled up in a chair reading brought tears to my eyes.

  11. Thanks Julie. I’m happy that I could do this little bit for him.

  12. Thanks for posting your thougts about Levern, Sandy. He was a wonderful man!

  13. He sure was, Dee. Thank you for giving me this picture to share.

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