My father's eldest brother passed away today. He comes from a very large family. His brother is not the first sibling he's lost but he is the first he's lost to 'old age'. My uncle had several forms of cancer and other issues but he was also in his late 80s.
It's been coming for a while now, but it's scary to me not just because my uncle has died but because that means that my dad will soon be losing more and more of his siblings. Because my dad is the baby (he's 20 years younger than his eldest brother), he was raised by his sisters and brothers more than his parents. His sisters would spend their wages on toys for him so he could have a new toy instead of a battered hand me down. Some of my cousins are only 10 years younger than my dad, so they're like aunts and uncles to me too.
And then of course, there's the fact that one day, I will lose my dad. He's not in very good health and I try not to think about it because just thinking about it is making me cry right now. He was a firefighter. He saved people's lives. He's selfless and generous and a real hero and I'm terrified about him dying.
I used to be terrified that my brother would kill my parents one day but now I'm terrified that time will kill them. And no one beats time.