It takes a Mohican only minutes to bury his dead… but many moons to get over his grief. – James Fennimore Cooper, “The Last of the Mohicans”
Eric Lynn Milsted was born in 1940 in Lake Charles to Leland and Nellie. He was baby brother to James and Marlene and “Unkie” to my sisters and me. He was a Methodist, a veteran of the Army and a Shell Oil man.
He was husband to Flo, step-dad to Lisa and Ming, father-in-law to Kirk and grandfather to Brett, Miles, Luke and Grant.
And he was Daddy to Erica; she was the light of his life. He was smitten with her, proud of her and grateful to her. Anyone who knew him could see all that.
He was tender; he was opinionated. He wore his heart on his sleeve and his politics on his caps. He wore his patriotic and NRA hats, even in the hospital. He was a strong gun rights advocate, not surprising given his love of hunting and shoot ‘em up Western movies (especially ones starring John Wayne).
He (along with his father and brother) loved a good debate – even if they were arguing the same side.
And did you ever hear him sing? It was a soft and sweet sound from a big man. He swore that Pat Boone’s “Love Letters In the Sand” was the perfect song to sing while rocking a baby. In his final weeks, he was partial to “The Gambler.” Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, indeed.
Five years ago, after our mother died, he started referring to himself as the Last of the Mohicans.
He was in poor health for a long time. He was tired and though he didn’t want to leave loved ones, he was ready. The Last of the Mohicans has re-joined his people. He is at peace but it will take us many moons to get over our grief.