Today's sentimental Sunday is more of a recent one for me. The picture I have included is of my "Grandma" Louis, Uncle Pete and mom, Susan. The Shetland Sheepdog is Fries and the chihuahua is Hercules. My Uncle Pete and "Grandma" Louis have both passed on now adn I miss them so much. Louis was one of those women that people will tell you was the nicest they had ever met. She believed in God and lived her life by His word. No one is perfect, but at least during the times I knew her, she was awful close. She was a close friend of the family who was more family to me than some family I already have. Uncle Pete was truly family to me. Unfortunately for many years he battled with alcoholism. When he came to become part of our family he quit drinking and became the best Uncle you could ask for. Anytime I needed advice or a friend he was there and because of what he had lived through, he was understanding, patient, funny and caring. He had inherited the chihuahua, Hercules, from or family, by Hercules' choice. They were inseperable. Uncle Pete loved everything about motorcycles. He loved the freedom he felt when riding them. He was in a bad wreck one day and I rushed to the hospital and stayed with him all day. It was very hard to see him lying in that bed. Part of his scalp was pulled back and blood was everywhere, along with broken arms. By the time I went home there was blood everywhere. As I sat in that hospital with him I thought back on when I first met him. He was still an alcoholic and "Grandma" Louis just died. He was itching to drink but had been staying with us to keep him from it. It didn't work, he found ways around it. It came down to the time when i had to take him home and he wanted to stop by the store, to get cigarettes he said. I went in with him and he got his cigarettes then said he needed to go to the bathroom so I stood there and waited. He came out and thought he would try to sneak around me to get alcohol. He picked up the bottle and I took it away from him and put it back. I told him he didn't need it and I wasn't going to aide him in getting drunk. We stared each other down right there in the aisle and finally he backed down and went to the car. Once we got to his house he just got more depressed and wanted to die. We talked for a long time and I called my step dad to come over. I left once he got there. Back to the hospital scene: He had helped me so much after that day. I learned from him lessons that you can only learn through experience. He stayed sober for 3 years. It was the best 3 years I could have asked for in an Uncle. But then once again, his depression got the better of him and he didn't ask for help. He went back to alcohol. One day I was driving to meet a friend to have a fun filled day and my mom called and told me that Uncle Pete had drank himself to death, on purpose. I about ran off the road. It's been a little over a year now and I still go through bouts where I am so angry with him, a little guilt that I could have done something and times where I just miss him so much. His death reminds me of a song sung by Alison Krauss and Brad Paisley, "Whisky Lullaby." The phrase from the song, "He put that bottle to his head and pulled the trigger..." always comes to mind. Even in his death he still taught me something. Life is short- live it to it's fullest. When it seems like it is crashing in on you, ask for help and pull back from your problems long enough to realize that it will pass. I realize that this blog is a bit more deep and a bit depressing for a genealogy blog, but it's how I feel and I would have loved to have read things like this from my ancestors. Maybe one day a descendant of mine will read this and realize that a slice of my zest from life came from these two incredible people who taught me not only through their lives, but through their death.