Covid-19 Takes One of Our Own

Please see the updated version with the new title, the Elephant Dances Flamenco.

The Delta Variant took one of our family members over the weekend. We believe he was vaccinated, since he was in a group residence. He had asthma and a weakened immune system from his intemperance. Those made his infection deadly at 90 years of age. My husband’s father, Gene, was the family member who passed away. We were estranged and did not know he was ill. The call from the hospital to ask us to make mortuary arrangements was quite a shock.

My husband’s very resourceful sister is taking care of the transfer arrangements. I helped her as much as I could with researching the businesses to perform the needed services. We are lucky that their stepbrother stayed in touch with their dad until the end. Even so, our world is shaken. We’re still reeling. I’d like to write a poem. I will by the time we have a Zoom funeral service this fall. But I need to stop moving for a moment for my muse to find me.

If I were to describe my father-in-law Gene in under 50 words: brother, husband, father and grandfather, stepfather and stepgrandfather, architect who believed affordable housing should be beautiful, seismic retrofitter of historic buildings (Bear Flag Rebellion location), gifted carpenter, jazz connoisseur, good with technology, environmentalist, xeriscape gardener, art lover, fiction and nonfiction reader, curious, artistic, kind and generous at the core.

Portraits of Gene and family are below. I do like taking photos as I believe you know. I took this shot of Gene with Evan and his sister in 2017. Sadly, that visit to California was the last time we saw Evan’s father.

Evan’s sister, Gene, and Evan Photo: Rebecca Cuningham

More than a decade ago, Gene and Evan’s stepmother Barbara made a trip to Madison; a very happy one. Eagle* was about six months old and loved meeting Grandma Barbara, Grandpa Gene and Aunt Lois. We had a little lunch party on our back porch.

Gene and Evan Photo: Rebecca Cuningham

Gene was an incredible photographer. He suggested the angle for the photo below. The joy is pure them; “Eagle” and Grandpa Gene together for the very first time.

Gene and “Eagle” Photo: Rebecca Cuningham

Parting family shot, Wedells and a Cuningham (me).

Wedell Family Photo: Camera Timer
I'm so glad Gene taught Evan to love jazz, design, and art. I thank Gene for the gifts of Evan and "Eagle" in my life.

Please take care, the Covid-19 danger is not over yet.

¡Viva Gene! –Rebecca

(*Eagle is a pseudonym I use to protect our child’s privacy.)

Rebecca Cuningham

12 thoughts on “Covid-19 Takes One of Our Own

  1. Rebecca, it is with a heavy heart that I send you my condolences for your loss. I hope that 90, he did live a full life filled with many great memories. As John Donne once said, “any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee” . May he rest peacefully and my best to all of you.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your support! I appreciate what a friend you are to my blog and to me. Good quote. This is definitely a time when we are reminded of our own mortality. We must live well and be our best selves.


  2. I’ve “liked” this post, but please understand it’s a sympathy like — I am so sorry for your family’s loss. It sounds like you, and the world around him, lost an incredible gentleman way too early. My heart goes out to all of you.

    Liked by 1 person

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