Listen To The Sound Of The Wind [on Merely A Thought Monday]

“A man is worked upon by what he works on. He may carve out his circumstances, but his circumstances will carve him out as well.” ~Frederick Douglas

I began cleaning out old files, something to fill the time. I knew the job had come to an end but the formal announcement had yet to come. The file of voice recordings I made with Tom surprised me. I wondered why I’d stashed it in folder that had nothing to do with The Lost Boy project. I opened one of the recordings and spent a few minutes with Tom. His deep bass voice telling a story of hardship and perseverance. “His daughter’s carried his body out onto the flood plain,” he said, “where they could find softer soil to dig a grave.”

It threw me into a memory with Columbus. Sitting at the table out back, the evening was coming on and he was having a lucid moment in his path through dementia. I asked him what happened in his life that he shifted jobs and started working in construction. A tale of hardship and perseverance. Impossible circumstances. Stable ground was fleeting. A neighbor offered him a job that seemed ridiculous at the time. He took it. A strange unknown land. He loved it. He thrived through adversity. Just before disappearing back into the muddy waters of dementia he whispered, “That man taught me how to be a man among men.”

Today we sit in uncertainty. Life review. “Why does our path have to be so hard?’ she asked in the aftermath of the announcement. “Why can’t we have just a little bit of stable ground?” We are carved in hardwood. We are a study of perseverance. “We’ll find a way,” my only reply.

I stood with Tom in the cemetery. He wanted to show me a grave that he’d shown me several times before. In his dementia, he couldn’t remember so we returned again and again. Frankie, another lost boy in a story of lost boys. This time was different. I knew it would be our last trip. I took him to the grave. I told him the story of his ancestor Frankie.

As I finished the telling, a farmer, a big man, came into the yard, ham-sized-hands clutching a tiny bundle of store bought flowers. He didn’t know we were there or didn’t care. He kneeled at a fresh grave. He wailed his grief. Tom heard the sound of the man’s sobs and stood still, listening. Finally, glancing at me, his voice quiet with awe, he said, “Listen to the sound of the wind.”

read Kerri’s blogpost about YOU’LL MAKE IT

3 Responses

  1. […] read DAVID’S thoughts this MERELY-A-THOUGHT MONDAY […]

  2. “I knew the job had come to an end”. Uh-oh, if that means what I sense it does? Yep, you both are LONG overdue for some stable ground. (sigh) 🙏

    Speaking of cemeteries, sounds like we”ll be seeing you in May when Columbus is brought ‘home’, in a sense? If there’s time, will run you out to the old East Monti cemetery to meet your GGG Grandparents, Pete and Caroline Like, GG Grandma Martha Like Darrow & a couple others from Great Grandma Eva’s tribe. Sure wish I could have been a mouse in the corner when you and Columbus made that last pilgrimage to the past.

    Sure do miss you guys.

    • We can’t wait to see you. We miss you, too. Yes – I’d delight in visiting the old East Monticello cemetery. It seems like it would be fitting part of the journey. And – yes. Job is done. We are back on the hunt for stable ground (sigh).

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