12 June 2007

Grady “Skip” Lael, 1926 – 2007

Filed under: Family

On the Washington Palouse with his brother Jack, circa 1934.

Lance Corporal, USMC.  Battle of Iwo Jima veteran, circa 1944.

Town Marshall, Northport, Washington, circa 1965.

Along the Columbia River near his beloved Grand Coulee, circa 2005.

You were a great man, Skip. You will be missed by all.

28 July 2006

Two brothers

Filed under: Family

I was standing at the sink, thinking that I needed to call Mike, and thought that we only seemed to talk when someone was either dying or dead. We’re so far apart, 21 years, that we have so little in common, but family.

Two years ago our brother Dave died. I remember Mike and I sitting in the sitting room at Anderson House, drinking bourbon, first out of glasses, finally out of the bottle, until it was gone. The years melted away until we were both the same, just two brothers, mourning for a third.

I called, and spoke with my niece Susannah for a few minutes before she put him on the phone.

We talked for a few minutes. Me, telling him how sorry I was, which was of course obvious; him thanking me for my call and telling me that they haven’t decided what to do yet, which was also obvious.

We had a silence, I could hear the phone crackling.

“You know, we only seem to talk when someone is either dead or dying.” He said.

“Yeah, I know. I was just thinking that myself.”

“I sent you a Christmas card but it came back, I asked Dad about it…but you know, life happens.”

“Yeah, I know. It’s okay. I’ve meant to call you several times but…”

“We have an odd relationship, Jonathan. We have for a long time. I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay, it’s right now, and that’s all that matters. I’m sorry too.”

And we both cried.

Goodbye, James

Filed under: Family

james

James Michael Reily
1977 – 2006

I’ll miss you, James. You were, and always will be, loved.