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Thursday, November 04, 2010

On A Personal Note...

Some of those closest to me know that I recently went on a pilgrimage to my home state of Washington and it came at just the right time.  There was a primal need within me to go back, to see my family, to visit the grave of my mother and to reconnect with my son, Matthew.  I shot a great deal of video and have been in the process of producing a bit of a documentary of my life, my memories of this previous existence I recall bits and pieces of - though now, things have become more clear for me.

The whole trip was surreal, as though I was having an out-of-body experience, witnessing the revelations of another man who lived what seemed to be a completely different life.  "Butch" was my nickname growing up and everyone in my family calls me by that name and frankly, I don't even remember when everyone began calling me "Ron," but it was yet another of those strange moments that there really is no explanation for.

My son, Matthew, is a handsome and wickedly intelligent young man and his son (my grandson) Rylan are amazing.  I could not be more proud of them both.  Seeing Matthew, hugging his neck and reconnecting was a moment in my life that I will never forget and will cherish until my last breath. 

Seeing my mother's grave was difficult to say the least.  Then, learning more about her death at the age of 33, secrets that no one had shared or perhaps had tried to shield me and my brother from were astounding and at one point, brought me to my knees.  She need not have died - there were misdiagnoses all along and her cancer was more that treatable, and she need not have died.  But, she did. 

The death of my grandmother as well was shrouded in mystery but my Uncle Cliff (my mother's younger brother) who was with her up until the end explained it to me.  Another senseless death that could have been prevented. 

I reconnected with my "little" brother who has lost part of his leg due to complications with diabetes.  He lives now in Vancouver, running his Internet-based business and like me, trying to make sense of it all.

My Uncle told me as we met on the first day of my trip that "some questions will never have answers, and that's okay."  He was right.  I had a list of questions I wanted answered as I made my trek across the western half of Washington, learning that childhood friends had passed, some had married and had kids of their own, that some of my closest family members were gone and he was right - some of the questions I never will have answers for are "okay." 

I guess I wanted my kids to know more about my youth, about their family members whom we haven't had much contact over the years were/are and what they are doing.  It was an enormous blessing and it will probably take months for me to process it all - but at least I am now in a position to be blessed with the opportunity to have something to process.