My Uncle David died last week, he was 71.
I have to say the news was a bit of a shock. No one in the family even knew he was ill, other than his wife. His death was not a result of COVID-19, not that that is any consolation. It appears that he died from complications due to a brain tumor that he had been suffering from at least since last October (but we don’t really know the details).
The saddest part of this news was knowing that David’s life had not an easy one because he had suffered from schizophrenia. A disorder that manifested when he was a teenager. So, what had started out as a promising life became complicated, and troubled.
I didn’t see much of David when I was growing up, being part of a military family we were never around. So I never saw the struggles that he had to deal with just to get through the day. Or the struggles that my grandparents had in trying to help him, and themselves, deal with his symptoms. I do know that it was difficult and stressful for all of them.
I am glad that my few memories of David over the years were good ones. Well, except for that time he backed into our rental car when my husband and I were visiting my grandparents in Maine. (Thankfully the damage was minor.)
On the bright side he was a wonderful piano player.
Images are always the best way to remember so here are some photographs of David through the years, in many of them he is with his younger brother Alan. (At least I hope that they are all of David, I have to admit sometimes I can’t tell the difference between David and Alan especially when they got older.)
The last two pictures: with a great nephew teaching him how to play guitar; with his wife and step-daughter very early in his marriage.
David was the second to last child born to William and Lois Shepard. He lost his youngest brother, Alan, in 1978 when he was killed in a car accident.