I can't even imagine the pain and heartache my mom and her family are feeling right now. When I called to say Happy Mother's Day to my mom yesterday I could tell immediately that something was wrong. Mom didn't sound well and the more we talked the more I could tell she isn't herself right now, she is deeply depressed and in shock. She told me her baby brother was killed on Friday. Mom always thought Richard was so incredibly handsome. I know brothers aren't the best at keeping in touch, but that doesn't sever the bond you feel with them. I imagine that losing a sibling would feel like loosing part of your childhood, part of yourself.
I feel even worse for my grandparents. They had eight children together and five of them have died. The horror of outliving even one child is almost unbearable, but to lose so many is absolutely tragic.
I've never been very close with my mom's side of the family. Most of them live in Florida and I don't see them very often. I didn't even meet my uncle Danny until three summers ago at a family reunion. I knew uncle Richie as a kid when he lived in Arizona near us for a couple years. When he moved back to Florida I didn't see him again for something like 15 years. When I did see him we didn't really talk much or bond, but I'm still sad that he's gone. He left behind a wife, four daughters, and four stepsons. He loved Nascar. I don't know much else about him but I know he'll be missed by a lot of people.
He was killed instantly when he was hit by a car while riding his motorcycle. Richard was 48.
Uncle Richie, my mom, and Grandpa Bob.
My mom, her parents and all of her living siblings. These pictures were taken June 2005, since then, the two brothers on the left have died.
Uncle Richie and his wife.