Truly Powerful People (417)

Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

I called Tom this morning. I rang his phone at the ranch and he answered but before responding to my, “Hi Tom!” he passed the phone to Marcia. I heard her explain to Tom who I was. “Oh, for heaven’s sake!” he exclaimed as she gave the phone back to him. “Hello!” he chimed.

“Tom, how are things at the ranch?” I asked. “Oh, I haven’t been at the ranch in months,” he said. I know enough about Alzheimer’s to go with the flow. No resistance. “Where are you now?” I asked. There was a long pause and then he said, “Well, I don’t know. I’ll have to ask.” He dropped the phone and went in search of Marcia. Far away I heard him ask, “Where am I?”

The last time I talked with Tom he knew where he was. He knew who I was. And so, we enter a new phase in our relationship. As I held the phone and waited for Marcia to come back to the phone I was suddenly thrust back in time, 6 years ago, late one night when I was visiting, Tom looked at me and said, “I need your help. I need your help with a story.” For the next three years, every few months, I flew to California and spent long weekends with him, sometimes recording, sometimes scribbling furiously, capturing as much as I could of his family origin story. Tom passed to me the seed. He is the rememberer of his clan and there was no one to pass the stories to. As I waited for Marcia I wondered if he knew this day was coming. He knew, as he put it, “I am on the glide path of my life now and don’t know what to do with the story.” I wondered why he chose me, was it a coincidence, spontaneous or was it planned. Either way, I was grateful that he did. I am grateful that I keep his stories burning.

Today, his story became mine and I will create an origin house to hold it. And I am compelled to find the connective tissue to my origin story so that I might wrap the fibers of Tom’s story into mine. Marcia came back to the phone, lifted the receiver and said, “Well, you know what DeMarcus used to say (her father), ‘Pay attention to the coincidences – they just might be small miracles.”

One Response

  1. I can’t think of a better guardian for a life story than you, David. Tom’s slide to the finish line is a sad one . . . I loved the “pay attention to the coincidences” line. I’ve always felt that way. There are no coincidences. It is up to us to recognize the miracles.

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