Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Carpe diem......

I didnt really know him, never met him in person, didnt even know his name. But through his online posts on a fishing bulletin board I frequent, I did come to know him as, "Bigstick". From the words and pictures he posted I began to form a picture of him. A big, strong man. Once a logger, falling trees larger in diameter than he was tall. An avid hunter and fisherman, that seemed to be his real passion. The outdoors of Alaska his playground, and he does reap the harvest from all the bounty it provides. Many, many pictures of all the game he had taken....and it was copious, have I seen. A master of the wood, ocean, lake and stream, so it would seem, a cunning hunter and fisherman. A man of strong opinion, not shy to voice his to the online crowd. I'm sure just as quick in person. From what I read of those who met him, a funny man, a kind and generous man. And a father. Watching his Youtube video's as he taught his son how to "break in" a new Leupold scope by throwing it into the brush, "Throw that sumbitch" he coached "giv'er hell!".

In my minds eye he is a towering individual, like Paul Bunyan, fu-manchu mustache included. Strong, overpowering, capable, living life in his own fast lane, a life to its fullest never wasting a second of any day. And then one day I logged in to my computer and read this from him......

They say time heals all wounds and perhaps for the first time in my Life,I'm much looking forward to time hurrying along and sorta passing me by. My head is screwed on straight,but the last few days are easily the most difficult I've known.

Long story short,for reasons known only him and just a short day before he was going to schlep away to Boot Camp,our oldest made the first and only bad decision of his 18yrs and ended his life. This event was/is soooooo out of character to his mild mannerisms and warm heart,that I can't begin to accurately communicate the magnitude of the surprise. That as applied to us here at the house,his running mates,team mates and the Community at large. Noone can make any sense of it,despite every single thought beating that path of reason,scouring for clues and drawing a collective blank.

And my heart sank. And it cried. This news from a man I do not know, nor have ever met has touched me deeply. I feel for him, for his family, for their loss. The hurt and the anguish he must feel, I cannot even begin to imagine. Nor do I ever want to know. I pray for him the strength to weather this most difficult storm.

And I pray I may never know such heartache myself. My two boys, my two men. Each so different, yet so alike. So full of life, their futures bright and long before them. My two men, my precious, beautiful boys. The most amazing thing I have ever done, or ever will do, is to be their father. And I thank my Father every day for the gift of these two boys he has entrusted to my care. And I pray that though they may encounter turbulence in their life's journey, they will have the strength and the wisdom to endure and overcome. Lifes journey is wonderful, but not without hardship. Be strong my boys, my men........you are a Child of Ben. And you are a Child of God. And we both love you, just the same.

Carpe diem, sieze the day. The time we have together is short, and precious. And oh so very, very sweet.

And Bigstick.......may God be with you, and give you peace. You will see your boy again, some day.....

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

There goes my life...........

And he cried,

There goes my life.
There goes my future, my everything.
I love you.

Seventeen years I’ve tried to be the best father I knew how to be. I’ve tried to show and teach him right from wrong. I’ve cared for him, cried for him, loved and laughed with him. Taken him to see new things, and stayed home and snuggled. For seventeen years he has been at the center of my universe, my reason for being. My life.

Tonight my sweet baby boy…..my #1…..my pride and joy just pulled out of the driveway, the car now officially his. A free man. Taking his younger brother, my sweet-pea………my other pride and joy, for ice cream. Together, on their own in the car, for the very first time. I stood at the window and watched….still learning the clutch, as the car jerked down the driveway, and then to the road…..and freedom. Spreading his wings and flying in to the world. And I cried……I cried for what is now gone, and I cried for what yet will be. My marvelous, sweet baby boy has become a man.

He is not yet fully grown, nor fully gone. Hopefully we still have many good years together ahead of us. But with unflinching certainty, the days of his childhood are dwindling, giving way hesitantly, to his still uncertain future as a man. I pray that I have taught him well. That the lessons of life I have tried to instill will be remembered. Choose well my son………..you are a child of God. A child of mine.

All he could think about was I'm too young for this.
Got my whole life ahead.
Hell I'm just a kid myself.
How'm I gonna raise one.

All he could see were his dreams goin' up in smoke.
So much for ditchin' this town and hangin' out on the coast.
Oh well, those plans are long gone.

And he said,
There goes my life.
There goes my future, my everything.
Might as well kiss it all good-bye.

There goes my life.......

A couple years of up all night and a few thousand diapers later.
That mistake he thought he made covers up the refrigerator.
Oh yeah..........he loves that little boy.

Momma's waiting to tuck him in,
As she fumbles up those stairs.
She smiles back at him dragging that teddy bear.
Sleep tight, blue eyes and bouncin' curls.

He smiles.....

There goes my life.
There goes my future, my everything.
I love you, daddy good-night.
There goes my life.

He had that Honda loaded down.
With Abercrombie clothes and 15 pairs of shoes and his American Express.
He checked the oil and slammed the hood, said you're good to go.
He hugged them both and headed off to the West Coast.

And he cried,

There goes my life.
There goes my future, my everything.
I love you.
Baby good-bye.

There goes my life.
There goes my life.
Baby good-bye.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A good day......

DATED: 12/1/2009

Today was the first clear, sunny day we have seen in a while.

Today was my weekly trip to Westport. I got on the company plane (a twin propeller engine King Air) at 6:45. We lifted off in to the crisp, clear and cold morning air by 7:00am. Normally our route would take us “over the top”, directly over the Olympics, flying just over and next to Mt. Olympus at 10,000ft and then down and on to Hoquiam. Today we went around the Olympics. First flying East, then South over Shelton before turning West to Hoquiam, skirting the Olympics the whole way.

Today was a full moon day. Before leaving, as I drove to the airport I could see the full moon, not long for this day dropping to the horizon. With the clear air and sky, and the full moon, I knew this would be a good flight.

As we flew the sun was just coming up. Though I never saw its golden orb, I witnessed the sun announcing its coming by painting the entire skyline red, orange and yellow. The cascades silhouetted in black before it. As we flew South Mt. Rainier grew larger and larger, as the sun continued its lightshow, silhouetting it too with a gorgeous pastel of fire. Rainier was not alone in the sky this morning, further in the distance Mt. Adams and the now truncated Mt. St. Helens also stood guardian in the fiery sky, and Mt. Hood a small tip in the far distance.

As we flew I continually looked west, keeping track of the progress of the moon. Its yellow orb peeking in slivers between cloud layers in the distance. Slowly falling, turning from yellow in shades to orange. Peeking in and out until at last look, all that was left was a small bit of the top, a dull distant orange, which cloud and sky had warped into a triangular shape.

Today was a longer day in Westport. Our usual departure of 3-3:45 was postponed until 4:15. As we made the 40min drive to Hoquiam (where the plane lands, WP runway is not long enough) I again never did see the golden orb of the sun, but witnessed once again its majesty, as it fell into the Pacific Ocean. Much angrier this time having to leave the day behind, it painted the sky in a burning red and orange blaze much richer and deeper than it had in its quiet morning ascent.

By the time we were in the air the sun was long gone, and only the hot orange glow of its passing, spread across the Pacific Ocean remained. In short order, that too was gone, swallowed by the night.

Looking to the east, the Moon which I had seen fall in the morning, had already risen high in the east. Full, large and bright. As we flew – this time “over the top” the light of the moon reflecting off the snow covered Olympic mountains lit the night as if it were dawn. Overpowering its much smaller and dimmer cousins, I occasionally saw a star which managed to force itself through the brightness of the moon lit night sky.

As we passed Mt. Olympus heading North, a bit of turbulence announced to me that we were on our descent, flying over the Elwha valley where the air rushing over the top of the Olympics met the air coming up the valley from the Ocean, creating the bouncing turbulence announcing to me our location.

Below the lights of Port Angeles, the lights of home, beckoned. To the North, across the Strait the larger city of Victoria shone brightly, illuminating a large stretch of the coastline of Vancouver island. Beyond that, though much further away, almost as brightly shone the lights of Vancouver. And beyond that………faintly, the lights of Whistler Mountain lighting up the snow for the night skiers.

Above it all, the orb of the Moon shone brightly, reflecting large swaths of light on the waters of the Strait. Between my eye, and the moon, it seemed to light up only the path between itself and Port Angeles, lighting my way home. The shimmering, dancing of the light from the moon on the waters, with the night lights of the city below was a sight that only could be captured in its fullest by the camera of my mind’s eye.

Flying just past, and over my house, though I could not see its lights because of trees, I knew exactly where it was. Looking down I knew that inside were a wife, and two children, probably already eating because I was late. Three people who mean everything in this world to me. Safe, warm, happy and fed. I would soon join them, bringing my day at work to a close.

From 10,000 feet I watched the sun rise and the moon fall as day dawned. From 10,000 feet I watched the sun fall, and the moon rise as day ended. In all the glory and majesty nature has to offer. And I was blessed to be there to see it. And I thank God for this Earth he created, and all the blessings he had given me, and for the family that I love.

It was ……. a good day.