My somber sojourn to the Mid South is coming to a close. I made a big swing at the tasks at hand. I grieved for Pop. I got mad as hell at him, too. I’ve been as productive as my body will let me. I’ve moved and lifted and cleaned and hauled till I hurt. I’ve also cut some rather unfocused and meandering swaths through the piles and piles of stuff without accomplishing much more than moving Pile 1 from A to B and back to A again. Death is never easy, no matter how well you might think you have prepared yourself.
There are still a couple of things I have to accomplish before I leave. One of them is to have a sit down with Pop at his resting place and just talk for a bit. There are some things I need to say that no one else need hear.
There is also the matter of thanking all those here in my home town that reached out to my mother, my sisters, and I and offered any and all manner of support to us. I knew that Mom would be surrounded and buoyed along on a never ending raft of support and love, but it never ceases to amaze me just how tightly knit my home town community actually is. You may get a headline on the gossip wire from time to time, but you’ll also get a helping hand with no strings attached when you need it most.
I would personally like to thank Rev. Dennis Smith and Mom and Pop’s church family at First Baptist for being an unending source of comfort for Mom.
Many thanks to my extended family of 30 odd years at the Dental Arts Building for your friendship, understanding, and deep devotion to Mom.
Thanks to Jeff Woodhouse for being a stand up friend to me since we met in the Auditorium of East Corinth Elementary as the new kids to the Fourth Grade so many years ago. I know I don’t always say it, but I appreciate you being there, buddy.
Many thanks to John Mercier for the depth and devotion of your friendship to me and my family for all these years. You have no idea how much having you on site at Bear Creek made what was an emotionally impossible task at least bearable for me. I’ll never be able to thank you enough for that.
Finally, thanks to Greg Moore for the rocking chair, the whiskey, and the well placed wisdom. I don’t think I could have gotten through any of it without a seat at the wood shop. There’s an open ended invitation for passage into California waiting for you at the border, hoss. But you have to leave Ernie at home……..
As for me? I return to some other place as I have for these many years away with a fresh pocket of life’s lessons. Another cycle is completed. The old fade and die. The new blossom and flourish, and I am no closer to having the answers I was looking for when I left here almost 30 years ago.
Rest in peace, Pop. It’s certainnly not going to be the same without you.