When we stopped, Uncle June had a fresh bandage on his arm, sheepishly explaining that he had woken up in the night to go to the bathroom and thought he was only 50, forgetting those extra 40 years. He fell on the way to the bathroom and said he hit his wrist against the chair rail. Well, it turned out his fall was more significant than that for an elderly man on coumadin. A couple of days after we saw him he went to see his doctor because he just did not feel right, and by the time he came out of his CT scan he was rapidly deteriorating from intracranial bleeding. He was comatose by the time he was admitted, with no hope of recovery. My mom rushed to his bedside at the hospice where he was transferred. The doctor did not expect him to live more than a few hours, but he held on for over two days. He was one tough guy. He died yesterday afternoon.
I have so much respect for my many uncles (2 on my mom's side and 5 on my dad's) who fought in WWII. They were so young, and put up with so much hardship and horror and loss, then stoically returned and steadfastly worked to raise families. Until the 50th anniversary of the war, they rarely talked of it. The last visit to Uncle June's before this one, though, I remember him pulling out a Japanese sword from his basement that impressed my boys.
Only 1 of my mom's 4 siblings is now alive, and 5 of my dad's 14. They were both the youngest in large families, so this is a decade of many deaths. I'm thankful that God allowed us to stop and see this Uncle in what turned out to be the last week of his life, to give a good hug and goodbye not knowing it would be our last.