Here is the final installment of my Family History in 5 photos series. The above photo was taken around 1967 while my mother in law was out on a nature walk with her 3 children. My husband is the boy on the right.
His siblings, Andy (left) and Carol and all perched on the ground around their mom. I’m pretty sure their dad took this photo.
I always said that my husband had a “Disneyworld” upbringing. They had a loving family and took vacations. They had a family cottage that the kids spent all summer at, every year. You can see in this photo that Andy and my husband are happy to be ‘adventuring’ with their sticks in hand.
In November 1979 their “Disneyworld” existence came crashing down. Andy had turned 17 in late August and was seeing a girl from a different high school. One day, he left his school to go visit her on his motorcycle and was involved in a head on collision. He did not survive.
I had only met Andy a few months prior, but even in that short time, I knew him to be a very handsome, 6’3″, funny young man. He made me laugh. He and my husband both rode motorcycles the difference being that my husband rode dirt bikes (and still does!) but Andy rode a street bike.
The next few years were very sad ones. The family dynamics changed as they surely would have because up until that point, my husband, the oldest, did not have a close relationship with his baby sister who is 5 years younger. After Andy’s passing, he and Carol grew very close as did the entire family.
It’s been 37 years since Andy died. He’s be 54 years old now but we’ll never know what he would have become. We’ve kept his memory alive so much so that my 2 sons refer to him as Uncle Andy when they speak of him. We still have his 1970 AMC Javelin that he had just purchased to fix up. His father’s mission after he died was to finish what Andy started and he did. To this day, this gorgeous car sits in my father in law’s garage. We fire it up a few times a year and the boys and my husband cruise around in Andy’s car. One day Andy’s legacy will be given to the boys. My first son’s middle name is Andrew.
Death in previous generations was almost a given. It happened all the time. Young people died all the time. In our generation it’s horrifying and shocking. It’s not supposed to happen. But it does. What is important is to remember that he was and IS a member of this family and we will never forget him.