My mother had three brothers, two older and one younger. They grew up in Southwestern Virginia.
Her oldest brother joined the military, returned to SWVA, stayed with his family, never married, was very active in his church, and died two years ago.
Her other older brother George went to college and majored in German. He spent a couple of years living in Germany, and during WWII he worked with the military as a translator. He never married, and became a German professor at a university in California, where he lived until his death.
Yesterday. In his retirement home, at the age of 95.
My mother's younger brother went to Virginia Tech (like my father, although not at the same time). He married and moved to New England, where his wife's family was from, and they still live there together.
He was diagnosed two years ago with Alzheimer's. He seems perfectly fine some days, and some days talking to him on the phone is hard for mom.
My mom assures me that she's sad but okay, and I don't need to drive up there to be with her. With the death of my father almost three years ago, I know she must feel like everyone is leaving her. Or leaving without her.