Saturday, January 15, 2011
My Uncle Pood
My mother's brother died Friday morning. He had been on hospice care at home since last fall. My heart aches for his children and their families and his wife of 50 some years. My heart aches for my mother, who is the last surviving sibling of her family.
My mother came from a very large family. The oldest children in the family were enough older that they could have been my mother's parents. My mother and her younger sister Retta and her younger brother Pood were very close. Raised during the Great Depression they knew what hunger was like and sometimes went days without food or with very little food. Pood never forgot what it was like to be a hungry child. I think this is why he always had hard candy or a candy bar stashed away in some pocket ready to give to any child he might run across.
Pood (real name Ralph Allen) had a wonderful sense of humor, something all his children have in common. He could see any situation in a way that seemed funny but his comments often were thought provoking in addition to being amusing. He was a veteran of the Korean War - going into the Army just out of high school and leaving it as a sergeant. He didn't speak of the war often, but I think it was a heavy weight he carried with him all the time.
Music was a passion for Pood. He had a wonderful singing voice which his children also inherited. He has grandchildren that are passionate singers also. I think Pood knew the words to thousands of songs. He was especially fond of country music.
Pood had a nickname for everyone. Snake and Fox and Head (after Edith Head the fashion designer) were his children at home and his wife. I was Sissaroo and my younger brother was Grinder (as in tougher than a mull grinder).
Pood was a 5 year survivor of metastasized colorectal cancer before his body said no more. I hope anyone reading this starts getting screening colonoscopies at the recommended intervals/ages. Colon cancer is very curable if caught in the earliest stages. Don't put having a colonoscopy off!
My bosses were fantastic as usual since I will be taking my Mom up "home" to the funeral on Monday, the day I was supposed to be flying to Michigan. They redid my tickets so I can leave Tuesday instead! I have the new guy some literature to take with him so hopefully he will be prepared for questions.
I am hoping for a great drive up there (the town is about four hours northwest from here) and a great drive back, then I will be hopping a flight to cold cold Michigan the next day. I am very sad today; everyone who knew Pood is very sad today. My mom doesn't travel well, but she is determined to go and I am glad she feels well enough to go! As for my health problems I am just going to suck it up and go.