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Another Passing

March 12, 2015

I’ve always felt strange being a later-in-life kid. My sister and I came along many years after the older set of siblings, and all my cousins and grand-cousins (Dad’s uncle was almost his age) were their age or older. That meant my older sisters knew them all very well and my whoops sister (without whom I wouldn’t exist, since I was planned to keep her company) and I knew them barely at all (I may be wrong about my whoops sister—I’ve lived on the other side of the country for 20 years, so she may know them better than I).

Yesterday, one of those cousins passed away. Bob Swanson had a surprisingly quick battle with cancer. We share the same name, never the same state, but what I knew of him was that he was a man of character, humor and, of all his brothers (also since passed), he was the sane and wonderful one (the others were a bit nuts but still wonderful).

My older sisters are taking it hard. My grief is a stranger because while I didn’t know him, he was family. As we age, the next generation comes up behind us while the older generation passes away. It seems our older generations are fading far quicker than they should. Fortunately, Bob has a thriving younger generation, judging from the posts on Facebook. He was widely and deeply loved, gone too soon from people who need him. His legacy in that generation will stand for a long time to come.

Seems there’s an awful lot of legacies in the past decade. A grand family reunion of who is left would be crowded with young people, but not so many older ones. Katie and I are close to the fulcrum of the generations and it seems like a weird view.

In remembrance of my brother, brother-in-law, all patriarchal grand-cousins, too many pets to mention, mom and dad, grandmas and grandpas and the storied great-greats, I tip my cup to your memory and offer my prayers to those you’ve left behind. May your present journeys be wonderous and bright!

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