On October 1st, just days before his birthday, my uncle Henry Ford passed away. He was 66.
My uncle struggled for some time with diabetes, but his passing still came as a shock to me. I’d just spoken to him two weeks ago and he sounded well.
Henry was a very good uncle. He took me to the New Orleans zoo, one of his favorite places, and always made sure I had a po’ boy or some gumbo whenever I was in town. He also indulged all of my questions about our family and drove with me on genealogy jaunts to Mississippi. Along with his stories about our ancestors, what I most treasure about my uncle is that he and my father visited each other even though they lived thousands of miles apart, so I got to have a good relationship with my cousins. While on the phone with my cousin, Shawnique the other night to express my condolences, we were able to laugh about the summer we spent in her room listening to Prince and thinking we were so grown up because our parents let us walk alone to the mall not far from her house. During a different summer when she visited us, she joined me on my camp’s field trip to the Philadelphia Zoo.
Henry tried to help me fill in t he blanks of our past about the Colonel, Tempe and Josephine. Now, he’s back with them all, keyed in to all of the answers, and I hope at peace.