Mr. Boom's uncle died of a sudden massive heart attack Thursday morning. He was 55, and in seemingly good health. We're reeling. Two of his brothers (including Mr. Boom's father) aren't mentally able to make plans. His uncle is schizophrenic, and his father is deep in the midst of the mist of Alzheimer's disease. Another brother, whom I've never met, is supposedly coming to town. He's a couple of states and a lot of bad weather away. There's a sister, too. We don't know if she's been reached yet, or if she's coming. The sheriff of the last county she was known to be in is trying to track her down. It was another sheriff who reached the uncle a few states away. It was yet another sheriff who contacted the brother who lives in our town. We didn't know about it until a man we don't know called us up in the middle of the night to make sure we'd heard. We originally thought it was a joke. The local sheriff had asked the local uncle to contact us--we can't figure out why they thought that would work?
This is what happens when three of the four remaining siblings don't have e~mail, phones, or even physical addresses. It's not what you might call a tight-knit family.
Mr. Boom's uncle was a great guy, the only sane relative I think Mr. Boom had (besides his brother). He smiled ALL the time. He would help anyone at the drop of a hat. He conquered alcoholism long after anyone would have thought he had a chance to do so. He was the best mechanic in town, was the mascot/coach/lacer-upper for the fledgling roller derby team, and was the one who could make anyone feel good no matter how glum they were. He really wasn't anything at all like his siblings.
In my family, there's a definite line of authority. I could tell you in my sleep exactly who would be in charge of what if any single member needed help, or a funeral, or whatever. This family doesn't have that. I'm at such a loss.
So is our whole community.
I'll be back when I can.