Today's post is dedicated to my Uncle Johnnyson.
Growing up, outside of my aunt Martha, my Uncle Johnnyson was the only other aunt or uncle from my paternal side that lived in the state of North Carolina. When I was a child, Uncle Jonnyson's cigars used to always fascinate me. I remember so many times sitting by him while he puffed on his cigar and asking if I could flick the ashes off. I don't know why but he would always let me do it. From my perspective, sometimes those darn ashes weren't building up fast enough, as I was always trying to grab his cigar out of his mouth so I could flick away the ashes for him. So there were a lot of times I was told, it's not time, yet. So I would sit and squirm until I got the go ahead to flick.
I don't see Uncle Johnnyson much these days. After my cousins and their families moved to the DC area, Uncle Johnnyson moved there, too, to be near them. So, instead of seeing him practically every weekend like I used to, it's now maybe every couple of years. The last few times I saw him, it seems like the early signs of Alzheimer's, which at some point seems to afflict practically every one on the paternal side of my family, was rearing its ugly head. This week, thanks to my cousin Denise, I saw a picture of Uncle Johnnyson that was taken earlier this year. I almost didn't even recognize him and wished for the Uncle whose ashes I was always trying to flick. In that instant, I knew that the genealogical research trips would have to be put on hold for awhile longer because I needed to get my dad up to DC so he could spend some time with his brother. I know the ancestors will understand because you see it's just dad and Uncle Johnnyson left from their generation. I think it will be good for both of them. I hope. The last time they saw each other was fall of 2006 right before dad came to live with me for a couple of months and before he moved into an assisted living facility. Since then, dad's health has been a constant battle which affects him mentally, also. When I mentioned to dad that I was planning to take him up to DC to see Uncle Johnnyson, he thought it was a good idea, too.
Unless, I can coordinate schedules (the cousins and mine) so that I can go sooner, the trip will still end up being a couple of months away (October) but at least I have a target date. And yes, I think I need this trip just as much as daddy and uncle Johnnyson.
Til next time!