As Kate and I get ready to have our first child, my mom called with some bad news. My uncle, her brother, passed away. His name was Donald Dieterich, but for some reason we all called him Uncle Busty. My mom always claimed he was crazy. I always thought he was a riot. He lived the kind of life I always wanted to - he drank and smoked, played pool, talked too loud, cursed a lot, and enjoyed every minute of it. There are stories that I have heard of him hitchhiking home to Amite, LA just in time to head back to his post wherever it was. The stories all seem to indicate that he was in search of a good time.
He was a good man. His second wife, Shirley, had a stroke a while back, and he was doing his best to take care of her. It wasn't easy. He even became incensed at some tenants at some her properties and did something that got him in trouble with the law.
In December he went to the hospital. He ended up with double pneumonia. He rallied, talked to his brother on the phone, cursing that he wanted out of the hospital. But he was never able to get his full lung capacity back. His family made the difficult decision last week to let him go peacefully. That must be one of the hardest things a family can do. I know they loved their dad, and I know they will miss him. I know I will.
May you rest in peace, Uncle Busty.
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