Thursday, June 24, 2010

Time Moves On

Can you miss someone who you haven't had contact with in over 25 years?  I guess it's possible, because I am missing my cousin Ben.  Ben died this past weekend and I have been a bit down ever since I heard the news.

Ben was The Mother's first cousin and he was only eight years older than me.  He always was kind to me, but really didn't have all that much to do with me--after all, I was just a kid who was in awe of him.  He was the first teenager that I spent any time around.  I thought he was very, very cool and looked a bit like Elvis.  (He DID have the dark hair and slightly curled lip when he smiled.  And he was very good looking.) 

I always thought Ben was quite smart--probably because he spent a year at the local university back home.  I'm not sure why, but after a year he joined the Marines.  He found himself in Vietnam for 13 months.  I remember writing to him and have often wondered how much, if any, enjoyment he got from the ramblings of a pre-teen.  I was tremendously proud to think I had a relative defending our country.

One thing that I always will remember about Ben was his rock collecting.  He spent an enormous amount of time looking for agates on the shores of Lake Superior.  He would polish the stones and then sell them to local tourist shops or jewelry makers.  I have never been able to tell an agate from any other rock, so this was one talent that impressed me immensely--and I was very jealous.

When Ben got home from Vietnam, he, like so many, was 'not himself.'  For quite a while he didn't seem able to get his life together and he foundered.  There were several 'dark' years for him and we worried that he may not recover.

Finally, Ben got his life back on track.  He married and he and his wife had two children.  At one point, Ben went to the police academy and worked as a deputy sheriff for several years.  Time went on, he moved on to other jobs, divorced, remarried, divorced again and got back together with his first wife.  The two of them had a good life for many years, welcomed several grandchildren into their lives, and she was with him when he had the massive heart attack that killed him.  I hope he finally was at peace in his later years.  I wish I would have been in touch so that I could have known for sure.  I miss you, Ben.  RIP.

5 comments:

meleah rebeccah said...

Im so sorry to hear about this. My sympathies to you and Ben's family. xoxoox

cmk said...

Thanks sweetie. It almost seems foolish of me to be sad, considering we hadn't seen each other in so long. But, it is just another sign that we all are getting older and times, indeed, DOES move on.

meleah rebeccah said...

sending you all my love.

ordinaryjanet said...

Sorry to hear this. It does make you think, doesn't it? like maybe I better talk to people I haven't talked to in years, in case they die before I can talk to them one last time.

cmk said...

Those family reunions certainly seem much more important after something like this.