Archive for August, 2015

Vegas rainbow

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Here’s a very nice rainbow I photographed during an afternoon walk to the mailbox a few days ago. Very pretty, I think. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken in my neighborhood on July 30, and part of my famous Las Vegas series.

It’s been a very eventful few weeks. Foremost in my mind is that we passed the 18 month mark since Shannon’s death on the 2nd of August. That meant it was time to scatter Shannon’s ashes. I had a very difficult time deciding it was okay to do that, but I decided to move forward as planned after consulting with our children.

Accordingly, the kids, their spouses, the granddaughter, and I went up to Angels Camp to stay for a few days. We went further into the Sierra Nevada to Clarks Fork for the scattering. The exact location we had planned to use was very full of people, so we chose a place where the river runs through the campground we visited many times and had our little ceremony there. It was really a nice event in a beautiful location with my beautiful little family. We loved being there together and Shannon’s wishes have been fulfilled.

I wrote down a few thoughts I shared with them because I was afraid I would find it too difficult to speak off the cuff. Here’s what I shared:

I’ve been thinking for the last while about Mom’s legacy, as we prepared to be together for this event. There is much that she left me and each of us, and I just want to offer some thoughts.

For 35 years, she gave me literally everything she had. She used up her life serving me. She made beautiful homes for me and took care of them constantly. She fed me, she bought all my clothes, she helped earn money during the years I couldn’t do that by myself. She gave me our children. She loved and cared for our family ceaselessly. She taught the kids, especially Andy and Mark during all their years together in school. Before she became the teacher, though, she spent countless hours in classrooms, making sure our children got the best education we could possibly provide them. She was immensely proud of each of your accomplishments.

When I was grouchy, she soothed me. When I was sad, she comforted me. When I succeeded, she celebrated with me. When I failed, she grieved with me. And when I was happy, she stood by my side and simply enjoyed life with me. Most of all, no matter what, she loved and loved and loved me.

She taught me how to cook, how to clean, how to take care of my things, how to care for children, how to serve others, and how to love. She didn’t preach much; rather, she just did kind things and we all learned to be like her. I think this is her legacy to each of us.

She never stopped caring for me. During her tremendously difficult last year, she kept doing what she always did as much as possible. And when she couldn’t do things for herself, she taught me the deepest lessons of my life on how to love and serve. That year is precious to me because I have never felt such pure love before or since. All my energy and time was focused on nothing but her comfort and possible recovery from her disease. By allowing me to do that, she helped me learn what it really means to love someone. I will always be grateful for what I learned as we spent that year together and I think I have become a much better man because of it. I think this is her legacy to me.

I miss her terribly. I promised her I would move forward happily and I’m doing my best to accomplish that. It isn’t always easy. I know we have all spent plenty of time crying during the past 18 months. It’s been hard for me to lose my wife, the love of my life, and my best and really only friend. It’s hard for each of you to have to say goodbye to your mother so young. It’s hard to live without her advice, her support, her praise, and her love. I think she gave each of us enough to last the rest of our lives, but it’s still hard and it feels so unfair. But it is our duty to keep that promise to her – to live our lives happily and to be good people. To love and serve each other and the people around us. To savor life and live it to the fullest. To be happy.

I love each of you. Thank you for strengthening me when I needed you. Thank you for the wonderful people you are. I not only love you, I like you. You’re great people and I’m incredibly proud of each of you. I couldn’t ask for a better life, in spite of the heartbreaks. I love you.

Now let’s let Mom’s ashes go and keep her spirit alive inside of us.

I’m really glad we were all together.

Joanne and I have planned a few additional trips over the next few months. Her timeshare put some travel on sale, so she grabbed a few weekends. We’re going back to Angels Camp in October (Joanne didn’t go with the kids and me the first time), the Bay Area in February, and Anaheim in June, on top of the trips we currently have planned. I’m really enjoying traveling with Joanne. I love her.

I took my first glider trip behind a tow plane the other day. Actually, we had three tows last Friday. It’s both very exciting and very difficult. I’m sure ill get good at it, but it’s quite the challenge for me at this point. I fly again tomorrow.

My instructor has invited me to get a commercial license and do some flying of paying passengers. Sounds like fun, so I’m in! It won’t be extremely soon, but it will probably come before I know it.

Joanne’s first golf lesson is this Saturday at 7:00 AM! Why the early hour? Two reasons: (1) it’s when the instructor is available and (2) it’s the only time that won’t be unpleasantly hot. I’m excited for her to start and for us to golf together. While she’s learning, I’ll go to the range and hit a bucket of balls.

Tons more happening, but it will have to wait.

And I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: French-fry-related gun pointing incident!

See you tomorrow.