For Five Minute Friday, I write this in memory of my uncle Ben who passed away on this night.

Uncle Ben is the last of a long line of Estes family members. There is one child left to carry out the family name, and it is his grandson. The rest of us are women. Not that it matters but it just seems strange to me that a family name could cease because the river damned up. I question the reasoning why women lose their last names when they marry.

In my small hometown in Mississippi, where I have lived for my whole life, I am still known by my maiden name even though I have been married for 41 years. Happily married, I might add. Had I been able to keep my surname, Estes, I would have children to carry out the family name. The question is why does a name have to begin and end with the male? Benton, Uncle Ben’s grandson, is a young single male, with two sisters. He carries the burden of the family name needing one day a baby boy.

Back to Uncle Ben, He was a slow talking, quick tempered man, who would shoot the lights out in his own business when they were left on at night. He repaired chain saws and was known to crank them up if the conversation was not “pleasing” to him. He drove a delivery truck that stated on the bumper…Slow delivery. He picked up every stray dog in Yazoo County and gave them a home. He was the best scout leader ever. Uncle Ben stood at least
6 feet tall, but was confined to a wheel chair and stooped in his last years. I imagine him in Heaven standing upright and tall with a full ray of light on him ~ he is casting a very l o n g shadow. May he rest in peace.