Living Large

Life and time are finite, our capability for imagination and wonder need not be.

My sweet papa passed away last week and time has been filled with all the family business and work of moving along, day by day. Grief is funny. I have been so fortunate to have my dad for 63 years, and he has been interested, interesting, loving and supportive of me for all that time. His pastor said at the simple graveside service, "Jimmy was simply the best man I ever knew..." He spoke of dad's love for us all, his loyalty, his honesty. And that was heartfelt and true. My dad never ever lost his capacity for wonder, intelligent inquiry, for making connections between art, science, life and spirit. I really can't process this loss yet, and I debated even posting about something so personal. but many of you who read this blog are close friends, and I wanted to say more about my dad than just a note that he died. He was fortunate, that having lived with heart disease for 40 years, he died suddenly without pain, suffering or fear. Even my mom didn't have time to be afraid.
I had been with him just 48 hours earlier, and,even though he was weak from an infection and on oxygen most of the time, he stood at the door with my mom to wave goodbye as I left the house -- something he never failed to do if he could.

A few of the things I learned from my dad:
How to camp and make a fire ( this comes first only because I am out here on the land right now)
How to study and learn new things
How to be married, to treat my beloved
How to see the big picture
How to remain optimistic and cheerful even when things look bleak
How to have discipline and focus
How to make funny faces
How to work with my hands and have respect for what is handmade
How to entertain myself and have varied interests
How to travel sanely
How to teach
How to look at the earth and see it's history
How to pass chemistry and physics
How to reconcile science and spiritual faith
How to live large no matter your physical, health, financial or any other conditions

We've taken off for New Mexico and are staying with relatives, letting mountain air and pine trees and storytelling do their magic.