December 3rd, day before my partner, Wayne Morgenthaler’s birthday, his Dad, Fred, died peacefully at age 97 in the company of wife, Bettie, and eldest son, Ronnie. Two days later, Terran Wulf, a new earthing, came into the world born to Wayne’s son, Arlo (the whole natural birth room was alive with love as I tried to run that high energy out of baby Bella, not quite 2!) We are blessed as Arlo, Marina, baby Annabella and baby Terran all live in the 1890’s white farm house near the gate at Oasis Farm.
A few days later, on my birthday, Wayne’s beloved Mom and my beloved friend, Pat, died at 6:45pm. Her whole family stayed together with her 24 hours, the little kids behaving wonderfully, having been raised well, and thanks in part to the wise selection of toys provided by caregiver, Jeannette Bennett, who loved Pat dearly and cared for her in innumerable ways for two years. Dear friend, Nancy Long also stepped in with her hospice training warming us and hospice was engaged near the end which was as Pat wanted, surrounded by loving family.
Now the tasks ahead are immense: help create memorials for these two who were giants to their family and friends; be useful to each other and in the world, and, of course, take good care of ourselves during this time of amazing grace and stress. Stress. Two cars broke down, one twice, there was an incident with angry police; a pickup truck missed me by about one second; dead car enroute to the Grange party. Sigh. More rain than for 8 years which we need; our 48 chickens keep telling me they’re soggy and upset.
In these passings from life, some see chemical changes, but I see minor miracles. Fred waited to pass until close to Pat’s time to leave this world; a brilliant rainbow appeared in Pat’s window about the time Fred passed; Pat beemed with bliss as Chris Samson and Barbara Arhon played music of Los Gu’achis and John Prine’s Welcome to the Family spoof Xmas song; next day she got to hold and fall asleep with brand new baby Terran, her 7th great grandchild and though she had trudged through a hellacious and slow death from COPD, she said “fight against the dying of the light” (at last hospital stay) and stayed with us as long as she could.
The usual celebration of Wayne’s, my and my son, Jon’s birthdays (Dec. 4, 12, 15) is postponed indefinitely.
If I get my drouthers, we’ll meet up in Paris end of March. Seeking ways to rejoice at this very serious and sad time, I am remembering that Fred provided very well indeed for his tribe and Pat – well, she was a true artist, digging deeply into her own reflections and experiences to share her fine sensibilities in nearly 800 paintings scanning a lifetime and many styles and modalities.
Pat will be buried at Cypress Hill Memorial Park where family can easily visit land near a tree full of singing birds. And I wonder if Pat and Fred have found each other and Grandma Neil. Surely, Pat’s Mom would want to see her beloved only child, Patricia.
We will remember Fred and Pat well; we will rejoice in the children and our family times together; those who go before will not be forgotten; those in our midst will be loved.