I now understand that the greatest gift I ever received from my parents, was in fact, an early demise. I realize a statement like that deserves a reasonable explanation. Every tale I've told, every lesson I pass on, is, in fact, my explanation.
Had my mother not passed, I would have never left Oklahoma, never my wife, children, grandchildren.
All those things most valuable to my very existence, could never have been. I shed tears even now as I write and ponder that my own mother and I could never share these people that she never knew. They could have never known her. Her existence would negate theirs. Profoundly sad, yet when this idea first began to materialize in my mind. I was absolutely filled with a true sense of gratitude. Mainly, because I know how much she has given of her, so that my life is full of the most important things, love, family, kids, valentines, hope, belief in anything. It really leaves me almost unable to express the depth of my gratefulness, my humility. My heart is full of an entire new kind of love of her memory.
Here's kind of a general description of the rode I ended up walking as soon as she was gone.
With my maternal uncle, and his lovely German wife, I
had a stricter, more traditional upbringing. I didn’t dig it too much
at the time, I was 12 to 14 years old. The value, at that time, was lost on me.
During my junior high school years there, I was given the gift of self, who I was becoming.
How I would interact with the rest of humanity began to take hold. During that
time, I made excellent grades in school. I was an honor roll student nearly always growing up but
secondary school was, in fact, the brightest of my public education experience. I was elected to the
student body in seventh grade and was president of that body in eighth. I excelled in sports, I started
making out with girls in the music room during that time. Any male will relate, this was a very intense
My guardians were excellent providers and I wanted for nothing. That was new to me. We were
actually dirt poor in Oklahoma and with all the children in the house, treats and gifts were rare and
actually unknown even. In Washington, I had everything that any other kid had and it was very good.
Of course, emotionally, I had some problems, anyone would, but this is the luck, this is an example of
what I have come to refer to as “magic”. If I would have still been struggling, still been the poor kids,
whatever, it may not be so nice looking back, but that was not the case. So although it seems sad, the
reality is that the situation could not have been better.
I also, have had, all my life, an incredible wanderlust. I had it then, I had it before my mother was
gone, and in fact, I have it now. He-he.
So, of course, in 1974, after graduating from junior high school, I had an opportunity to run, and I ran.
My natural father, after whom I am named, was released from prison. (another story) He had been
locked up since 1962 and as his release became imminent, he wrote and invited me to join him and his
new wife in New Mexico. Off I went to Santa Fe.
I’ll skip details here but as you can probably imagine, this was a wild, time for me. I eventually ran
away and ended up here, in California. This is when the magic really began to wrap around me.
I have been here mostly ever since. A few short stints outside of California but for the most part, I have
been a Californian since the middle seventies.
I met the mother of my children the day I moved here. The day. Within two months, I was
incarcerated for the first time. Both of those things became a very regular part of my life almost
immediately and although I am many years past my last incarceration, those things are still two of the
most important facts about me.
I am not a person who believes in God. I have stated many times that I am, in fact, an atheist. I have
also tried to make clear that I am not real pleased about that. Here’s why. I happen to know that
something outside the obvious goes on in this world. Unfortunately, the “god’s” that have been written
about and prayed to so far, are not even near what is real. I cannot identify what this is. Of course not.
The difference is, I’m okay with that. He-he. I have decided to call this “Magic”. Of course it is not
magic in the sense that we are used to the word. It is, however, magic in the sense that I have become
My mother’s gift to me was her own premature passing. That, my friend, is magic.
Perhaps the most productive and important part of my own education, is the time I spent in prison.
When my daughter met and fell in love with the man that is presently my son-in-law, he possessed
qualities that I would not even demanded. I actually believed that was gonna be my job! My own
ignorance at just the right time…Magic.
A few years ago, I was going through a terribly difficult break up with Teresa, (baby-mama, and
incredible human being) I was sure to kill, either an innocent, or a member of the family, or even
myself. Magically, I met just the right people, just the right time in just the right place, in their own
just right situations to keep me and my freedom, alive. I cannot overemphasize what I’m saying here. I
have been a fighter my whole life. I am older now but I am so prideful that I would rather die than
hurt, I’d rather hurt than walk away quietly, dignity meant little.
I don’t believe in any, so far,unknowable god.
But I cannot explain Cindy Simmons.
I cannot explain Tara Ellington.
I cannot begin to explain how the two of them represent God to me, only more than God.
The same goes with Paula Olmstead and Manny Diaz.
If there were a God, a real one, I could not have expected him to be so perfectly equipped with just the right remedy to keep me, not only alive, but better than I’ve ever been.
I will explain each of these “angels” roles in another post but the point is, I believe in magic. No other
series of events could have led me to the place I am today, right now.
On July fourth, just as I reminiscing in a feelin’ sorry for myself way, Graven looked right in my face and told me how much he loved me.. That is why I had to write this.