Over the weekend, my great-uncle John Benedict, my grandmother's Yumma*'s younger brother, died at 85. I wanted to post this picture of him, (taken at D.C.'s Union Station during the war) and also this, which his sister Margaret wrote me:
When Beany** called to say, "We lost Johnny this morning," on Saturday, the 29th, I was relieved to know that excruciating pain did not linger longer than a week. Beany had one word to describe him: "courageous." It applied to his whole life.
Johnny and Yumma were the two children who never needed to be punished for anything. It was as though they had come to earth having already graduated from something or other and their ability to appreciate people and life and bring comfort to them was far above that of most of us. In contrast, I spent many hours exiled to a linen closet and almost looked forward to curling up on a pile of sheets in the dark.
Johnny always met everyone with a great big smile and eyes sparkling as he listened intently to what anyone had to say to him. He had a childlike enjoyment of whatever he did and enhanced the participation of others with him.
She ended her note by saying, "I am glad that when you were looking around for a family to be born into, you chose the one you did. Good choice." She said it.
Deciding whether to head to D.C. for memorial with my mom...
**Beany is my great-uncle Henry. Look, they're WASPs.