Thursday, June 14, 2012

ANDY'S LAST RIDE


ANDY'S LAST RIDE                    JUNE 13, 2012                          photo by elizabeth gorodon
As you know through my posts, I have been in New Orleans to be with my partner and her Father while he was ill with bone cancer.  The journey is now complete.  And this post is to honor a man, his life, and the journey of a family taking their last journey with their loved one.
Andy was from a generation of extraordinary people. He and my Mother were born in the same small township area in rural Southern Mississippi just with in a few short years of each other, thought they never knew each other growing up.  They lived through WW II and a great depression.  They were people who learned to depend on their own individuality and survival skills.  If they couldn't do it themselves, it wasn't going to get done.  They grew up on poor farms in a rural poverty stricken area, but both came out as extraordinary people with great strength of character. I admire them both, and recognize my generation did not quite get their strength of character. So this is a tribute to a wonderful man, a family's journey with pain and illness, and the trip we all take with our loved ones at some point.  But mostly it is a tribute to Andy, a man who chose to be there for his family, and a man who chose to have strength of character like cowboy heroes of old...Roy Rodgers and that ilk...the man with the white hat riding into the sunset.


Rise at 6:00 am
Ready himself for the day
with soldier like discipline
shave, shower, breakfast
off to the mall, his family waiting


a family of friends waiting for coffee and a day's greeting
conversation of the day's events, jokes, laughter, who is ill, who has died,
friendship bonded in daily caring and fending off aloneness


the days are made one by one,
with a smile, a hug, a joke, and a flirt
pretending you are young once again,
Boggy and McCall-ness, and hope of more,
of youth, of love, and worth and purpose


Sundays' church man walks down the isles,
a tred worn on carpet 50 years, collections taken,
salvation asked for, and faith shown not with pomp and circumstance,
but like an old coat worn and comfortable, lived in and known


Rock strong, this man, family caretaker, family provider, always there,
aways dependable, never giving up


now the time is waning and the afternoon light in long shadows, the last ride is upon him,
he mounts his steel pony, and heads in once last time to laugh with his friends, his mall family,
now it is his last, bravely so, he tilts his hat, and with great humor takes the road upon him.





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