So. Moving on.
The man we said good-bye to yesterday is the first of my first cousins to die. He was 65, definitely not old (and the older I get, the younger 65 looks) in body or mind or spirit, but managed to develop a pretty awful form of cancer a couple years ago.
Most of the funerals I've attended have been for those much older than I. One recent exception stands out, but I didn't know her well. She was the wife of one of my husband's high-school classmates. I've been to funerals for my husband's teachers, his mother's friends, my own parents – the previous generation.
Not my own.
I was the only one of this generation of cousins there, except for his sister, of course. We're all scattered and now that our parents are nearly all gone (one aunt still lives in Illinois) we haven't made much of an effort to get together. The last time I saw any of my cousins was at my dad's funeral.
We simply must stop meeting like this.
I heard over and over and over again what a good man my cousin was. He was an Ohio State Trooper and a Navy veteran and an artist and a father and a grandfather and, even, a great-grandfather. He adored his family, was proud of his service, had an outstanding career and earned the respect and admiration of all who knew him.
I felt good about going. I'm sure some of you (and my husband!) think it's kind of, um, pushing it to drive five hours, stay 90 minutes and drive five more hours, all in one day. I really didn't get tired, though, until I was half an hour from home. So it was okay. It was the right thing to do, and I wanted to go.
To follow up on yesterday's post, I passed one car – ONE – with an Obama bumper sticker. (Amazingly, an older Caucasian male was driving. I thought they were voting for Romney!?)
And if campaign signs did vote, President Obama would be a shoe-in in Ohio. Still, though, the signs weren't plastered everywhere as they were four years ago. I wonder about local ordinances, because I saw several of those walking sign workers Vickie mentioned in smaller towns along the way.
Hope. Change. Forward. Let's get this done.