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Dana Milton Hudson

Birth
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Death 16 Apr 2007 (aged 57)
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Burial Blue Island, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Memorial ID 82202895 · View Source
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My uncle Dana was the youngest of my dad's siblings. I probably should know him the best since he is closer in age to his nieces and nephews than the others, but the fact is that I do not. I am probably not the best qualified to write this memorial but I am going to attempt it and add to it over time. I think he deserves it.

My first memories of my uncle was when he was about 16 years old. He was not unlike many teens today-he just wanted to fit in. He was one of the cool kids. I remember thinking that he seemed so unlike my dad and the older brothers. The older ones were well liked but they definitely didn't go for the cool. The older ones were more the artistic, cerebral, intellectual types but Dana was definitely not that.

Dana was a handful for his poor parents, Milton and Jackie, who were in the midst of middle age while Dana was growing up in the sometimes tough streets of Chicago. And I think there was some concern that he could get hurt as a result of running with the wrong crowd. Dana was a "good" kid from a good family but was vulnerable to the pressures and temptations that teens face even today. Our worst fears were realized when as an 18 year old young man, he was assaulted and hit over the head with a heavy metal object and was almost killed. He miraculously survived that attack, but he suffered epileptic type seizures for the rest of his life. I think that his near death experience helped him to grow up and he married his childhood sweetheart Rhonda and from that union he became loving father to Dana Jr. and Denina.

Unfortunately, as we were not particularly close, there is a gap in my knowledge about my uncle especially after 1980. I may have exchanged words with him once or twice in the 25 years before his death. It is not because I didn't love my uncle because I did but we were different kinds of people in almost every way imaginable-very different outlooks and attitudes and values. It's just the way it was.

Uncle Dana was in his early 50s when he started exhibiting the classic symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. This is a disease that my family is very familiar with. But it was unusually early even for my family and I strongly believe that the disease started so early and advanced so aggressively as a result of the brain injury he suffered as a young man.

The last time I saw my uncle was in a nursing home in February, 2007. After so many years, I didn't recognize him at first. We spent the day and my sister washed his hair. And her being a massage therapist, I think she gave him one of the best massages he ever had. He never spoke but he was docile and relaxed and his eyes seemed to light up when he first saw us. One of the last memories of my uncle was of my sister feeding him his dinner and he suddenly turned his head and puckered his lips and kissed my sister. You could tell that somewhere in there, he harbored a deep affection for her. He could not speak but you could tell that somewhere in there he instinctively knew who she was and responded accordingly. It was very touching. In life, for a long time, I had difficulty understanding who my uncle was but in that short, fleeting moment, I understood exactly the essence of who he was. Rest in peace forever, Uncle Dana.

A big thank you to Deborah RN for her kind sponsorship of my Uncle Dana's memorial page. It means so much to me.


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