gone generationThe Gone Generation. It’s what I’m calling the end of my parents and their siblings living among us. Uncle Herb who reached 99 ½ years just died less than two weeks ago. Herb was the last of my dad’s five siblings to pass. My mom and her four sisters have passed too. Now only Herb’s wife, Aunt Janet, is living from my parents’ generation. The rest are gone. Home in heaven. Moved on from this planet. 

Married 70 Years

I have lost my parents, plus their 9 brothers
and sisters and their spouses—20 in this gone generation. It’s sobering to lose this many older relatives. It’s weird. It makes me reflect more on these dear ones and those of us who mourn their passing.

Uncle Herb and Aunt Janet were married for 70 years. Seven full decades of love, challenges, laughter and togetherness. What an incredible testimony of holding steady through the for-better-or-for worse times.

Over the past several years when I drove back to Nebraska, I always made a stop out at Herb and Janet’s farm that they lived on for 52 years. What fun, fun memories of Herb sharing his memories of growing up and proudly serving with the U.S. Navy during World War II. Aunt Janet always graciously smiled and nodded at Herb’s stories and added her two cents when Herb gave her an opening. Gosh, Herb will be missed!

There’s a sweet poem included in Herb’s online obituary that I just have to share with you. I hope this prose encourages you and reminds you to be grateful for our farmers who supply us every day with everything from eggs and milk to hamburger and ice cream.

No Ordinary Gal Would Do

When God Created Farm Folks
When God created farm folks He was surely at His best
—He made them something special to help clothe and feed the rest.
The man He gave wide shoulders, burly hands, a friendly grin
—an old and dusty farm cap in places worn quite thin.
An optimist in coveralls—determined, strong and true,

A man whose love of country land would help to pull him through.
Next He added intelligence, gentleness and grit,

He even found a place for the funny bone to fit.
Then God took a little rest—He was only halfway through,

He had yet to make the farmer’s wife. . . no ordinary gal would do! 
He started with endurance, stamina and pride.

For she would be a woman to stand at the farmer’s side.
He gave a sense of humor then added warmth, a loving heart, 
courage, brains and enduring faith—He’d made the perfect start!
Then He put the two together, the farmer and his bride,
To work and love the land forever—side by side.

gone generation

How about you? Are you blessed to have stalwart and silly aunts and uncles in your life? Men and women with grit, warmth, courage and enduring faith? If some are still living, stay in touch. What character qualities did/do these relatives model to you? Love, laughter and long-suffering? Humility, humor and hardiness?

Like me today, count your blessings of the aunt and uncles and other loved ones who have poured into your life. It’s often in their plodding-along examples of strength and resiliency that make us who we are today. Each of us are indeed blessed by our own Gone Generation.