June 22, 2016, Springerville, AZ- My father passed away, thirty years ago, today. Then, as now, I made a long journey. Then, as now, it took a few phone calls to get the details right. I arrived at my destination after six hours of travel. I was comforted by the very people I came to comfort. He was given a dignified send-off, and from the spirit realm, he still looks after me, in a stern, but loving manner.
Who, exactly, did Dad leave behind? I was not the easiest of sons to raise, but there was a lot about autism that was not known, that was misunderstood. There still is, in the perceptions of many people. There is, however, nothing about who I am that limits me. I have raised a fine young man, and am gladly here to answer his questions about the time of life that is young adulthood. I am here to encourage his success, to boost him over the bar.
I am also here to reach out to as many people as possible. July will be yet another month on the road. This time, though, it will be focused on family members, some close and some long-lost. It will be focused, as well, on friends- some in pain, some offering joy. I will be keeping an eye on things in Arizona, though there are still those nagging critics who take umbrage at my having missed this meeting, or not being available for that event during the coming four weeks.
I am not easy to define. Mostly, my living consists of proferring love on those around me. It’s the most basic thing in the world, and in the Universe, for that matter. There will always be those who try to obfuscate and throw me off course. There will always be those who hear the word “widower” and think, “troll”- as is the case with one of my co-workers here at the fire shelter. No matter: I am here to do a service, and I will continue, whether this person likes it or not. I am very open about my wife’s having passed on. The other part is that I am open about being comfortable with how my life is now. This life is full of bonds, and true friendships. The false of purpose, and the fearful, need not worry about my presence.
Another thing that colours my life: Commitment to the generations coming up behind me; not just my son and young relatives, but the well-being of all. A case in point: When I stopped for dinner at one of my “A-List” California restaurants, en route back to Prescott, I was struck by the humidity inside the place, and concerned for two young ladies, who were dressed in Victorian attire, in their roles as servers, and who were about to crumple from the stifling air. The manager, herself about to keel over, had them go into a small staff room, which was more comfortable. We need to pay close attention to those who work hard on our behalf. Fortunately, all three ladies recovered nicely.
This is my 1,000th Word Press post. To leave you with more of a sense of who I am, here are a few scenes from my coastal visit on Monday. First, here are two scenes of Cardiff State Beach, west of Encinitas.
Up the coast, at Dana Point, I enjoyed a lengthy lunchtime conversation, with a longtime friend, at another of my California “A-list” establishments.
Who am I, really? I’m just a human being who treasures those in his life, who is glad for the form in which I find myself, who does not have a need to judge the paths and courses of life taken by others, insofar as they do not harm those around them and who looks forward to whatever tale each day has to present.
Post 1,001 will look at an estuary- the mixing of fresh and salt water, and why brackishness is a good thing.