A Dozen Years

March 5, 2023- Last night, an extended family member took her last breath and left behind many years of suffering. Hers was a voice of truth, at times hard to hear-but a voice that needed to be heard, nonetheless. Her passing was a bookend to Penny’s transition, twelve years ago today.

I’ve taken stock, a fair number of times since, of my “solo” journey-that hasn’t actually been taken alone. It’s worth looking back, though, every so often. Since bidding her adieu, I have sold a house, on my in-law’s behalf, settled into a solid one-bedroom apartment, gone through five cars, seen the marriage of our son to a strong, confident and beautiful woman, visited forty-eight states (only Montana and North Dakota remain unvisited) and six countries, completed two long local hiking trails (albeit in sections) and volunteered with five organizations, besides my Faith Community.

Most important, though, are the friendships made-both long-lasting and fleeting. Some have also gone on to the next level of existence. A couple have been lost, through miscommunication and the interference of those who saw me as some sort of threat. A few others have turned out to be nefarious, and had to be cast aside. Most, though, will be in my circle until death separates us, albeit temporarily. They will always be in my heart.

There is no real Master Plan to any of this-three of the cars were wrecked by the actions of other people and one just wore out; the house was sold because of a double-taxation scheme, in another state; the travel is a combination of who I am as a person and urges to see people who live far from here. The hikes are also a reflection of who I am, besides being a good way to help with one of my current focuses-weight reduction.

Yet, in another sense, I do follow a Master Plan-one which all of us follow, either wittingly or unwittingly: The Major Plan of the Creator. I am in awe of all that has happened in my life, particularly over the past forty years, and especially over the past twelve. Much, I know, remains to be rolled out, and I look forward to it all, the easy and the hard alike.

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