Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Last of the line

My uncle Billy died this weekend, making me the last male of the family for at least three generations. Which means my branch of the family ends with me (my sister won't be having kids).


I didn't really know Uncle Billy. I hadn't seen him in roughly 37 years (I think I surprised my mom with the amount of detail I remembered where we lived when I was 4), and had talked to him maybe a dozen times on the phone since then. So I didn't feel a great deal of when I found out that he was dying even though I did feel a little guilty for not jumping on a plane to see if I could get there before he passed (despite the fact that he wouldn't have known me).

I know I've explained this to a couple of friends... sometime I feel like it's my duty to carry on the family line. I can't explain why I feel that way, especially since I've never really been a family sort of guy and to be honest I think that I'm too selfish with my time to make a good parent. It's just something wired in my brain, so when it became official that I was the last, I felt like I had failed. The odds of me perpetuating the bloodline is increasingly unlikely.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Dave T said...

I have a nephew and a...no, two nieces now, so I figure the family will continue, with or without the Toomey name. I've always been more worried about family than names and lineages anyway...and there's always the small chance Chris will get married again, or Scott will have another boy, if you must have more patrilinearity(sp)

4:42 PM  
Blogger The Illustrious Ms E said...

Sorry to hear about your uncle...

My cousin is the only male on the one side of the family...Luckily he just got married, so there will be some kids forthcoming (I assume)to 'carry on the family name'...

I mean...Imagine if he didn't have kids...OMGs!!! There would be No! Smiths! Left!!!! *huge grin*

8:49 PM  
Blogger KNH said...

I understand your weird urge to "carry on the family." When my brother had only girls, I was really sad that my family tree's name was going to die with our generation. It's totally irrational, since there are plenty of kids to carry the blood, but it's there nonetheless. And even if there weren't all the kids, why the heck does it matter to me? What if all the kids were adopted? Would it really matter if they weren't genetically related? Who cares?? It's not like if I didn't have kids that the human race is in any danger of dying out from lack of procreation.

I think these urges to have kids, for you to jump on a plane to say goodbye to someone you don't know, and all of it: well, they are our brains' way of prodding us to carry on the species. So I think your reaction is normal, even if it isn't any fun.

Sorry to hear about the bad news.

11:38 PM  

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