Every Memorial Day between 1989 and 2012, I visited the final resting place of my affinite uncle, the late husband of my mother’s oldest sister, at Jefferson Barracks. He was a Korea vet, and the Pentagon technically considers his late 1988 death to be a war casualty, because it was a delayed onset of a war injury.
In the fall of 2012, during the height of campaign season, a great uncle of mine, my mother’s mother’s youngest brother, died, and while he retired to Phoenix, he was also buried at JB. Korean vet. Which means MD 2013, I had two final resting places to visit.
If you’ve been reading me for long enough, you know what happened two months later. And yes, you can figure out where he was buried. Also a Korean vet.
Which means that starting with the MD two years ago, I now have three final resting places to visit at JB.
I asked him today to forgive me for killing him. Even though I know better. The only reason I’m still not freaking out about it is that the rational half of my brain is barely holding back the emotional half.
And then I realize my younger uncle, Vietnam, who was, like every MD, with us for the visits, turns 70 this summer. And I’m not ready for a fourth visit.
Then I wanted to wash my brain out with soap for even thinking that. I already jinxed one uncle in the ground, I don’t want to do it to another.
Even though he had to be thinking that it really won’t be that much longer in the greater scheme of things that he’ll be there for good. He certainly looked this morning like that was on his mind. But I dare not say.