For my promised second June post I had been drafting a diatribe about eighteen-year-old killers and their enablers. Then I learned that, on Sunday the 26th, my cousin Gerry had finally succumbed to the horrible bladder cancer that he'd fought for thirteen plus years.
I felt a sadness akin to that which I experienced at the loss of my brother Ken a couple years ago. While letting that feeling settle in, I began adding up the number of grandchildren my maternal grandparents had. I came up with thirty-two in the clan at its peak. Then I thought about how many of us remain standing. I believe it's eighteen. Of that group, I am the oldest male and my cousin Margie, a few years my senior, the oldest overall.
Before the COVID pandemic hit, we tried to have a Mahnken Family Reunion at Gilbert Lake State Park, every August as I recall. I don't remember how many there were. I think I attended every one but I'm not sure. Much of the surviving clan is still in New York State, many living in the towns and sometimes house they grew up in. Others are spread across the continental US and their children even farther afield. Even so there was always a pretty good showing at the event.
|Gerry, second from left, with some sibs.|
Gerry was there every time I was. With his ready wit and seriously groan-inducing puns, he helped make the day even more memorable. I will miss him.
Until next time,