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Fathers, Family and Future

In the last three weeks, two of my great uncles died. They were 94 and 87 - extraordinarily great ages, and both had deteriorating health so it wasn't unexpected. The proximity of their deaths to one another was quite startling though, and it has marked the end of an era in our family. They were the last of seven siblings to pass away. 
Their own father died before any of them hit teenage years. One sister had already passed away in childhood, and the remaining sister and five brothers had to work out their place in the world without him. I didn't get to meet my grandad, the youngest of them, as he also died when my father and his siblings were young. The other four brothers then, my great uncles, came to represent to me what he would've been like. 

They were hard working, family centred men who spent most of their lives farming and ministering at their local churches. Dependable, solid, with cheeky senses of humour - pillars of the community type people. On the farms they w…

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