April 1st, 1973: We drove to Macomb today, to see Uncle Ray. And, I might have seen him for the last time. He has to go through 20 cobalt treatments. And with his age and his weight against him, I don't think he can take them all.
April 1st, 2013: There had been no diary entries since March 26th. I'd let five days pass. Skipping days of journaling was getting to be a habit. And it was about to get worse. That was, and is, a shame.
Uncle Ray had been diagnosed with cancer at not all that long ago. After dad's diagnosis. I've talked to his son Jon. Jon told me a charcoal sized, coal black, chunk of tissue had been removed from his throat early on, after the diagnosis. Uncle Ray had been a long time cigarette smoker, had quit them, and taken up a pipe. He was a small man. Short and thin. Frail looking, but I think he could be tough if pushed. I've mentioned him before. A World War I veteran.
I didn't make any specific notes about what the day was like in Macomb. How long we stayed, or of any incidents involving sad moments or sad words.
Reading my original entry makes me think I was trying to be "grown up," and face the fact that we could lose Uncle Ray. It was still that mentality of something happening to the "other person," not someone in my immediate family. Uncle Ray had 16 years on my dad. That would have put him around 73 at the time.
Uncle Ray outlived dad by 10 months. Just like I suspected, he was a tough old man.