To All Those Who Have Gone Before

I have so much in my head from the past weeks range of emotions, beginning last week with utter jubilation for my 50th Birthday Party, to facing on internalized terror by sky diving to the depth of despair from the loss of an old friend. Today I have a strong desire to go home and see my father and spend the day with him. My strength in family has been fortified this past week to become stronger than ever. I feel like I am looking into the face of my own mortality and see the areas where I need to rebuild those bonds. It feels like to older we get the further we get from things that are truly important to us. I know I am a terrible workaholic and last year took only one weekend off the entire year to get out of Missoula, and that we to help with my father’s wedding in last August. This is Memorial Day and the day we remember and pay respect to our fallen military members that have given their lives to secure the precious sanctity of us as a free nation. To give us a way of life and to enjoy the riches of simple pleasure. When I have traveled outside of the US I saw our country through the eyes of other cultures. We were looked upon with adoring admiration. As the center of freedom in speech and idealism and especially as a leader in the expression of pop culture, from music, to movies to innovation. The simple things most of us take for granted. I know I do. Today is a day of reflection, to rejoice, and of celebration. It is to honor those that have protected our way of life. Though I have not personally known anyone who has served and been lost to war. I have always been a person to not put much value in war, it seems the casualties for life is far too extreme. Yes I am aware of evil in the world, which has ever been so dominate in my head this week, with the loss of Kelly Jo, and that is must somehow be brought to control. Many years ago I visited the Martin Luther King Memorial Center in Atlanta and become awestruck by how issues of fear, hate, and racism have been quenched by a belief in a peaceful means. Gandhi was an inspiration for the world on the enlightenment of a peaceful order. But then facing my own fears on that fateful morning of 9/11, to witness those towers fall, our own security, held so sacred, suddenly terrorized. I don’t see any such way to deal with hate other then by force. Sorry my heart is still a bit raw from yesterday.

Today is a day for me to reconnect to my heritage, and reflect on all those that have gone before me. Those that have paved a remarkable road I have been able to travel. First to my mother, who passed away this week five years ago. I am thankful to the precious life you have given me. To my dear friend Gilbert, who have given me the passions to lead a creative life. To my grandmother Elsie Cyr, who gave me courage to face and accept my unique difference. In musical theater there are brilliant moments at the end of the play when the dead all come back to surround the living to sing of a triumphant life, though it is a corny idea, it is a brilliant concept. Today I feel the strength of those ghosts surrounding me in a harmonic chorus the celebration of what I have become and all the wondrous things I have. I am thankful and will reach out to those that are dear to me.

Now they’ll walk on my arm through the distant night
And I won’t let them stray from my heart
Through the wind, through the dark, through the winter light
I will read all their dreams to the stars
I’ll walk now with them
I’ll call on their names
I’ll see their thoughts are known
Not gone –

From the musical “Spring Awakening” lyrics by Steven Sater, music by Duncan Sheik