Sunday, November 27, 2011

Post Thanksgiving Gratitude....

I am grateful for having completed my 73rd  trip around our sun the day after thanksgiving.  I am grateful for a new passenger on our spaceship Earth this year.  My grandson Bennett Thomas Wilson was born in March.  Welcome aboard Bennett.  
I am grateful I was able to participate in a celebration of the departure of another passenger… Father.  And I am grateful my son and his two oldest sons participated with me in burying my Father’s ashes at his Mother and Father’s grave, at my Mother’s grave and at the base of a pecan tree in my front yard(my Father loved pecans).  The burying of my Father’s ashes represented the completion of the most challenging commitment of my lifetime….being a caretaker for my Father.  I am grateful for the support I received during the entire process of my Father’s decline and departure.
I am grateful for the many pictures and other memory items my Father left with me.  From those pictures I learned that my Great Grand Father served in the Confederate Army.  Now I understand and see the family connections to racial bigotry that got passed down to my Father.  I am extremely grateful to have confronted and interrupted that bigotry in my family(see post “Sanity or Insanity, revisited”).

Lastly, I am very grateful to be complete with my Father’s passing.  I have no idea if there is another life experience after passing but if there is I think the line, “I have been released and I am welcome here”, from the song, “All is Welcome Here” is appropriate for all arriving and departing passengers from our beautiful spaceship Earth.
Jimmy Wilson

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tribute to my father...

My father passed on Sept. 18.  He was 95 years old.  His being gone feels like a hole in my existence but I am glad his suffering is over.  His life is over and complete.  
Dad did not leave a great financial or property legacy.  His legacy was far richer than money or property.  My Dad was a living walking demonstration of the power of giving our word, keeping our word and honoring our word.  He did not have the mental ability to articulate this but he didn’t need to because that’s who he was.   He completed caretaking commitments that lasted for 35 years.  They included raising me and caretaking his mother, down syndrome brother and my chronically ill mother.  I don’t recall his ever complaining about these sometimes overwhelming commitments.  
I was my Dad’s caretaker for 5 and 1/2 years and remembering the successful completion of his caretaking agreements helped sustain me when dealing with him was especially frustrating.  He had vascular dementia.  Dad could be difficult and cantankerous even before dementia and of course the dementia multiplied the difficulty.   
But I am grateful I was able to look beyond his personality and the dementia to see the contribution he had been to his family.  I am also grateful I was able to celebrate and honor Dad’s life by sharing about his legacy with family and friends at his memorial service.  
Jimmy Wilson